Who can claim it?
You may be eligible for Attendance Allowance if you:
- are over State Pension age. You can find out your State Pension age on Gov.uk
- have a long-term physical or mental illness or disability. This can include sensory conditions such as sight and hearing loss, mental health issues and cognitive impairments such as dementia
- have needed help with personal care or regular supervision from someone else for at least six months. You can claim whether or not you actually receive this help or supervision. Personal care tasks could include things like washing and bathing, dressing and undressing, getting in or out of bed, and taking medication.
If you're terminally ill, you can claim Attendance Allowance straightaway.
For a fuller list of personal care activities, see our Attendance Allowance factsheet.
How much is it worth?
Attendance Allowance (AA) is paid at two different rates, depending on the level of care you need:
Lower rate – £59.70 per week
if you need care or supervision during the day or night
Higher rate – £89.15 per week
if you need care or supervision during the day and night, or if you're terminally ill
Your level of income and savings aren’t taken into account when deciding if you’re eligible for AA, and you don’t have to spend your AA on care – it’s up to you how you spend the money.
AA will not reduce other benefits you receive, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. In some cases, you may find that if you are awarded AA you’re entitled to higher rates of these other benefits because of your extra needs.
How to apply
If you want to apply for Attendance Allowance you can download a claim form or call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 to ask for an application pack.
You can ask for help from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if you have difficulties claiming because of a disability or health condition - for example, if you have problems reading or filling in forms, understanding complex information, or using a phone or computer. Visit Gov.uk for more information.
Tips for filling in your form
The decision-maker uses your claim form to work out whether you qualify for Attendance Allowance so it’s important to give as much detail as possible.
- explain how your condition affects your day-to-day life and what personal tasks you have difficulties with
- answer as many questions as you can and give examples
- include the time it takes you to carry out specific tasks and how much help you need with them, even if there’s no one to help you
- explain how your needs change and how bad your difficulties can be if some days are better than others
- mention any things you avoid doing because they’re difficult for you – for example, if it’s difficult bending and reaching to put on and take off socks even while you’re sitting down
- explain what happens when you don’t receive the care you need, especially if this has left you at risk of falls or struggling to manage
- send supporting information - for example, from your carer, GP or consultant.
For more tips on filling in your form, see our Attendance Allowance factsheet.
Some people find that if they’ve lived with their health problem for a long time, they overlook or underestimate their difficulties so it’s a good idea to get help to fill in the form. Contact your local Age UK or Citizens Advice.
If you're turned down
The DWP should give you a written explanation if they turn down your claim. If you’re not happy with the decision, you generally have one month to make an appeal. Call our Helpline for more advice.
Download a claim form from Gov.uk or call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 to ask for an application pack.