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Published on 26 January 2017 02:30 PM

The government has decided not to pass the responsibility for Attendance Allowance to local councils following a successful Age UK campaign.

Thank you to the thousands of people who supported us!

  • Government proposal to transfer funding to local councils threatened the future of this essential benefit for older people
  • Age UK launched a national campaign against this happening, including delivering an open letter to the Government
  • The Government announced this week that they will not go ahead with the proposed change.

Why we campaigned

Attendance Allowance is a payment which is nationally administered and not means tested, paid weekly to older people with a disability. It’s a vital means of support and way to maintain independence for those who often face extra costs when living with an illness or disability, without having to turn to a social care authority.

In early 2016, the Government proposed transferring the responsibility for Attendance Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions to local councils. This could have created a postcode lottery of support, as councils are already financially hard pressed.

What we did

Research: We worked locally with Age UK partners to survey older people claiming Attendance Allowance, to find out how it makes a difference to their lives. 

Report: This information was used to produce a short report, The Choice is Mine, to illustrate the importance of the benefit.

Read our Attendance Allowance report

Petition: In November 2016, we delivered an open letter to the Government asking them to protect Attendance Allowance, signed by more than 14,000 people. More than 2000 people also emailed their MPs asking them to call on the Government to prevent the changes from being made.

We worked with organisations who were also concerned about the proposals, including the Local Government Association, Carers UK, housing and care groups and health and disability charities.

Our achievement

Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced at an event on 19 January that Attendance Allowance will not be transferred to councils. We are incredibly grateful for everyone who joined our campaign – it sent a strong message to the Government and secured a critical benefit.

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081