Attendance Allowance is extra money that you can claim if you have a long-term disability or condition. You may be able to claim if you need help with personal support, or supervision to keep you safe.
Personal support includes getting dressed, shopping, washing, eating, going to the toilet, getting in and out of bed and taking medication.
Supervision means you need someone to watch over you because you could cause harm to yourself or others around you. For example, it could be that you forget to take your medication or have seizures or falls.
It doesn’t matter whether you are actually receiving this help or supervision – it is the need for help that matters.
Who can get Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is for people over State Pension age.
You may be eligible for Attendance Allowance if all the following apply:
- You have reached State Pension age.
- You have a long-term disability or condition.
- You have needed frequent help with personal care or supervision because of your disability for at least six months.
N.B. If you are terminally ill, you can claim Attendance Allowance straight away.
It isn’t just for people with a physical disability or illness. Mental health issues, cognitive impairments such as dementia, and sensory conditions such as sight or hearing loss are also included.
Attendance Allowance isn’t means-tested, so your income and savings aren’t taken into account.
How much could I get?
There are two weekly rates:
- £58.70 if you need help either in the day or at night
- £87.65 if you need help both during the day and night, or if you are terminally ill.
(These rates apply from April 2019 – April 2020)
If you are awarded Attendance Allowance, you may become eligible to receive means-tested benefits you couldn’t claim before such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. If you already receive these benefits, the amount you get may increase.
Getting Attendance Allowance can entitle you to other help, such as a Blue Badge that lets you park closer to where you need to go and a Disabled Person’s Railcard that gives money off train fares for you and a friend.
You don’t have to spend your Attendance Allowance on a care worker – you can spend it however you want. Lots of people spend it on things that make life easier, like taxis, fuel bills or a cleaner.
Q. I think my income and savings must be too high.
A. Attendance Allowance is based purely on your care or supervision needs. It doesn’t matter what your income or savings are.
Q. I don’t have anyone helping me at the moment.
A. You don’t need to have a carer to qualify. Your claim is based on the help you need, not what you’re actually getting.
Q. I don’t want a carer coming into my home.
A. You don’t have to spend your extra money on a carer. You can spend Attendance Allowance however you want.
Q. I don’t have a diagnosis of any particular illness.
A. You don’t need one to apply. As long as you’ve needed help or supervision for at least six months, you can make a claim.
Q. I am sure I will be turned down
A. Three out of four claims are accepted first time, so you stand a good chance of being awarded Attendance Allowance if you meet the eligibility criteria.
How can we help you?
We can help you by checking that you are likely to meet the required criteria, gathering all the necessary information, to completing the application form and submitting it. We do charge for this service.
Alternatively, you can get a claim form and complete yourself by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122. You can also download a form from gov.uk/attendance-allowance/how-to-claim