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What to include in your Attendance Allowance application

Many applications are turned down because people don't mention, or aren't clear about, how their illness or disability affects their lives. It's important that you don't downplay your needs when filling in the form. 

Tips to help with the Attendance Allowance form

  1. Describe any accidents, falls or other times you’ve been hurt or injured.
  2. Explain the effects of any disabilities and health conditions you have and how they interact with each other. For example, if you have arthritis but also find it hard to motivate yourself due to your mental health, make sure you mention how the combination affects your ability to carry out daily tasks, such as washing and dressing.
  3. List things that you struggle to do unaided, even if you’ve developed ways to cope.
  4. If an activity takes you much longer due to your disability or illness, or if it’s difficult to do safely.
  5. Say if you need reminding or encouraging to do things.
  6. Focus on how frequently you need help. For example, if you need help looking after your appearance, you might include that you need help to check your clothes are clean after a meal, help to find a coat and matching shoes, and so on. You can qualify for the lower rate of AA if you need help 'frequently' during the day or night.
  7. Give plenty of information in your own words about your personal circumstances. Don’t worry if you need to repeat yourself.
  8. Attach any supporting information, such as doctor's letters, your care plan or prescription lists.
  9. If there's a charity that provides help and support for people with your condition or disability, ask them if they have any specific advice on what to include on the form.

Bear in mind that decisions about Attendance Allowance doesn’t usually take into account problems with housework, cooking, shopping and gardening – so if you struggle with these activities, make sure you give details of other problems as well.

Find your local Age UK to get help filling out your Attendance Allowance claim form.


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Thinking about your specific needs

As well as the general tips above, it's important to think about your specific needs. 

Washing, bathing and looking after your appearance

Do you need help getting in and out of the bath or shower, adjusting shower controls, shaving, putting on skin creams, washing or drying your hair, or remembering to have a wash?

Going to the toilet

Do you need help adjusting your clothes after using the toilet, using the toilet at night, or changing clothes or bedding if you have an accident?

Help with medical treatment

Do you need help identifying your tablets, reading and understanding instructions about taking medication, managing a condition such as diabetes, recognising if your condition deteriorates, or adjusting your hearing aid?


Do you need someone there in case you have a fall, seizure or pass out? Or in case you lack awareness of danger, could be a danger to yourself or others, or you get confused, forgetful or disorientated? Do you need someone to give you medication for angina or asthma attacks, or to help calm you down during a panic attack?

Getting dressed or undressed

Do you need help with fastenings, buttons and shoelaces – for example, because of arthritis? Do you need help recognising when your clothes are on inside out or need changing?


Do you need any help eating and drinking? Do you need reminding to eat or, if you have sight loss, do you need someone to tell you where the food is on your plate, or to read out menus?


Do you need help understanding or hearing people, or being understood by them, answering the phone, or reading and understanding your mail?

Getting around indoors

Do you need help using the stairs, getting up from chairs, getting in and out of bed, or moving safely from room to room?

Phone icon We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Apr 08 2024

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