Do you have an illness or disability that means you need extra help at home? If so, you might be able to get a benefit called Attendance Allowance.
What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is a benefit for older people who may need extra help to stay independent at home, due to an illness or disability.
How much could I get?
You could get:
- £55.65 a week if you need help either in the day or at night
- £83.10 a week if you need help both in the day and at night.
These rates apply from April 2017 to April 2018.
The benefit is usually paid every 4 weeks.
How could Attendance Allowance help me?
A little extra money can go a long way. You can use it in any way you like to meet your needs and stay independent in your own home. The money doesn’t have to be spent on a carer.
There are some other upsides to Attendance Allowance too:
- Claiming Attendance Allowance won’t reduce any other income you receive.
- It’s tax-free.
- If you’re awarded Attendance Allowance, you may become entitled to other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, or an increase in these benefits if you’re already receiving them.
- Attendance Allowance isn’t means-tested so it doesn’t matter how much income and savings you have.
Since Age UK Durham helped me claim Attendance Allowance I don’t have to worry. Once this money started, I thought about what I have been missing, all these years I could have been having help but I didn’t know
Am I eligible to claim Attendance Allowance?
You can claim Attendance Allowance if you meet all the following criteria:
- are 65 or over (if you’re under 65, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment instead)
- could benefit from help with personal care, such as getting washed or dressed, or supervision to keep you safe during the day or night
- have any type of disability or illness, including sight or hearing impairments, or mental health issues such as dementia
- have needed help for at least 6 months. (If you’re terminally ill you can make a claim straight away.)
How do I claim Attendance Allowance?
Get a claim form by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055 (textphone: 0345 604 5312), you can download a claim form from the GOV UK website:
Fill in the form. Be really clear about how your illness or disability affects your life and don’t underestimate your needs.
If you need any help filling in the form, you can refer to our tips below or ask your local Age UK if they can help you so as to increase your chances of being awarded Attendance Allowance.
Before you send it in, don’t forget to attach any supporting information, such as GP letters, your care plan, or prescription lists.
Send in the form to the address on the form or submit it online.
The Department for Work and Pensions may contact you to ask for more information or arrange for a doctor to visit. It’s a good idea to prepare for that visit by writing things down that you would want the doctor to know about.
You will get a letter with the decision on whether or not you’ll get Attendance Allowance, how much, and from what date.
If you’re not happy with the outcome, you can appeal.
Tips to help with the Attendance Allowance claim form
- Don’t leave things out, even if you feel you can manage well enough.
- Describe any accidents or falls you’ve had.
- Explain the effects of all your disabilities and health conditions, and how they interact with each other.
- List things that you struggle to do unaided, even if you’ve developed ways to cope.
- If an activity takes you much longer than it would somebody without a disability, or if it’s difficult to do safely, include this too.
- Say if you need reminding or encouraging to do things, as this also counts as help.
- Focus on how frequently you need help. For example, if you need help looking after your appearance, this could add up to six or seven times a day, if you include help to check your clothes are clean after a meal, help to find a coat and matching shoes, and so on.
- Give plenty of information in your own words about your personal circumstances. Don’t worry if you need to repeat yourself.
- Bear in mind that Attendance Allowance doesn’t usually take into account problems with housework, cooking, shopping and gardening.
What should I do next?
Download the forms
Visit the GOV UK website to download an Attendance Allowance claim form
For Advice & Information call the Age NI Advice Service on 0808 808 7575