Am I eligible to claim?
Attendance Allowance is a government given benefit from the Department of Work and Pensions. It is for people over the age of 65 who need help with social and personal care because they are physically or mentally disabled (for example: washing, dressing or eating). It is available for those who need to be looking after by day and/or overnight in case help is needed. The benefit is not a means tested benefit so therefore eligibility is based on need and potentially available to everyone.
How to Claim Attendance Allowance
Who is Attendance Allowance for?
The Attendance Allowance is available to anyone who fulfils the following criteria:
- A physical disability such as blindness or hearing impairment.
- A mental disability including dementia and learning difficulties.
- A disability severe enough to need help caring for themselves, or need someone to supervise them, for their own or someone else’s safety.
- Are over age 65. If you aren’t you may qualify for PIPs (Personal Independent Payments)
- In need of help for 6 months+ – if you are terminally ill you can claim right away.
Tips for Claiming Attendance Allowance
Attendance allowance is awarded based on needs, not just medical conditions. Age UK says, that many applications are turned down because people don’t mention or are not clear about how their illness or disability affects their lives. Don’t let your parents under-estimate their needs when filling in the form. Their advice suggests that you should consider the following.
- Describe any accidents/falls
- Explain the effects of all disabilities and health conditions and how they interact with eachother
- List things that your parent struggles to do unaided, even if they have developed ways to cope. If an activity takes longer than it would someone else, or if its difficult to do safely then this can be taken into account. Also say if your parent needs reminding or encouraging to do things, as this also counts as help.
- To qualify for the lower rate of Attendance Allowance you have to show that help is needed “frequently” – e.g help with your appearance on a daily basis
Bear in mind that Attendance Allowance doesn’t usually take into account problems with housework, cooking, shopping and gardening. If you mention problems with these make sure you also include other “health related”problems as you’re unlikely to receive support if household chores are the focus of the application.
Attendance Allowance Rates for 2017 – What you get
Attendance allowance is paid to you weekly at two different rates – What you receive is based on the level of support you require.
The rates available are the following:
Lower Rate – £55.65 – This is for frequent help or constant supervision during the day or supervision at night.
Higher Rate – £83.10 – Help or supervision throughout both day and night or if you’re terminally ill.
All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into some form of account (for example your bank account)
*NOTE: You could get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction if you get Attendance Allowance – check with the helpline or office dealing with your benefit.*
Conditions and Changes of Circumstances
Conditions, You must:
- Be in Great Britain when you claim – there are some exceptions, eg members and family members of the Armed Forces
- Have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years
- Be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
- Not be subject to immigration control (unless you’re a sponsored immigrant)
Changes of Circumstances
Your circumstances can affect how much you get, eg moving between the lower and higher rates. You must contact the Attendance Allowance helpline if your circumstances change. For example:
- The level of help you need or your condition changes
- You go into hospital or a care home
- You go abroad for more than 13 weeks
- You’re imprisoned or held in detention
You must also contact the helpline if:
- You change your name, address or bank details
- You want to stop receiving your benefit
- Your doctor’s details change
You could get a £50 civil penalty and have to repay overpaid benefits if you don’t report changes and are overpaid as a result.
Attendance Allowance Form 2017
To apply for Attendance allowance, you can follow this link.
Print this form and return it to:
Attendance Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
If you’re having trouble printing the attendance allowance form, you can call the support line below for help.
Remember you can also apply on behalf of your parent if that makes things easier.
Applying for Attendance Allowance
Attendance Allowance Contact Number – Helpline
Telephone: 0345 605 6055
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
There is good advice for completing the form here. We have also added some extra links below to other websites which are also filled with information regarding attendance allowance and how to claim it: