Although many people continue to enjoy good health well into old age, some people find that they need help with daily living.
Attendance Allowance (AA) is a benefit for people who are 65 or over who have a physical or mental disability. It is a tax free benefit and is not means-tested, therefore you can apply regardless of how much income or savings you have. If you do not already receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance.
The allowance may apply to you if you need help with personal care (such as washing or dressing). You may also be eligible if another person is with you during the day and/or night to make sure that you remain safe in your home but you do not have to have a carer or someone else living with you to receive AA. A common misconception is that if someone does live with you, the benefit is for the person who is ‘attending’ to your care needs. This is not the case as AA is a benefit for someone who has a disability, not a carer.
AA is paid at two rates, depending on the level of care needs. The weekly rate for April 2013/14 is:
If you are receiving means-tested benefits (such as Pension Credit) and you then claim Attendance Allowance, this will not reduce the amount that you receive. In fact, it could result in an increase of entitlement and can also act as a gateway to other benefits.
You can apply via post, online or by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline to get a claim pack.
If you are looking for more in depth information specifically about Attendance Allowance (such as how to apply and the eligibility criteria) see the following factsheet published by our sister charity Age UK.
To find out more about benefits for people over pension age see the factsheet below, also published by Age UK.
More money in your pocket - a guide to claiming benefits for people over pension age.
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