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Attendance Allowance

You may be able to claim attendance allowance  if you are over 65 and have a long-term disability or health condition which means that you reasonably require some help with your care needs. It doesn’t matter whether you already get this help or not and it doesn’t even matter if you wouldn’t take it if it was offered. The question is; would it be reasonable for you to have it, bearing in mind the way your condition affects you? Looking after yourself and staying safe can count.

What can you spend attendance allowance on?

Claiming attendance allowance may not improve your health, but it can definitely make a big difference to your life. It can give back some of the feelings of independence that dealing with a long term health condition may have taken away – for example, you may be able to pay for help that up to now you’ve had to rely on friends and relatives for. And because you can spend your attendance allowance on anything you choose, it can also bring about a real improvement in your quality of life. These are some of the things people use their attendance allowance for:

• taxis to get to and from the shops

• someone to do the garden, clean the windows, help with housework

• the additional cost of heating if you need to keep warm when you are unwell

• a special diet that helps you to manage your health condition

• aids, adaptations and appliances to make life easier for you

• flowers or treats for friends and relatives who have helped you out

• holidays, weekend breaks or trips to see friends or relatives

Attendance allowance is paid at two rates:

£54.45 per week (lower rate at April 2014). This is paid if you meet the criteria in the day or the night.

£81.30 per week (higher rate at April 2014). This is paid if you meet the criteria in the day and the night.

Quick Attendance Allowance Test

Answer these questions first if you are not sure whether you are eligible

1 Are you aged 65 or over?

If yes, go on to question 2.

If no, you cannot claim attendance allowance. However, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

You can download our guides to claiming PIP here

2 Has your health condition lasted at least six months?

If yes, go on to question 3.

If no, you can still make a claim, but payment can only begin from the date when your condition has lasted six months. Go on to question 3.

3 Do you need someone to keep an eye on you throughout the day?

If yes, you needn’t answer any more questions, it’s definitely worth filling in a claim pack.

If no, go on to question 4.

4 Do you need someone awake to keep an eye on you at night, (night is 11pm to 7am) for at least 20 minutes or at least two or three times?

If yes, you needn’t answer any more questions, it’s definitely worth filling in a claim pack.

If no, go on to question 5.

5 Do you have difficulties with any of the activities below?

Answer yes if you do. (If some days you do and some days you don’t, answer yes)

 

  • Moving about indoors
  • Eating and drinking
  • Communicating with people
  • Getting into bed at night
  • Getting to and using the toilet
  • Looking after your appearance
  • Social and leisure activities
  • Coping with confusion
  • Taking medication
  • Staying safe if you’re alone
  • Getting out of bed in the morning
  • Sleeping
  • Washing, having a bath or a shower
  • Getting dressed and undressed
  • Coping with panic or anxiety attacks
  • Coping with memory loss

(Shopping and housework are not counted as everyday activities that are relevant to attendance allowance).

The sort of difficulties you might have with these activities include things like:

• it hurts

• you can only do it slowly

• you need to take a long rest after doing it

• you can only do it using a special technique of your own

• you need someone with you when you do it just, in case things go wrong

• it’s not safe for you to do it

• you can only do it if somebody prompts or encourages you

• you can only do it with physical help from another person

• you can’t do it at all

If you answered yes for any of the activities, go on to question 6.

If you didn’t answer yes to any it doesn’t mean you are definitely not eligible for AA, you should try to get advice from one of the agencies listed in the Help! section.

6 If you got help during the day, would it need to be frequently throughout the day – in the morning, in the middle of the day and in the late afternoon/evening?

If yes, you needn’t answer any more questions, it’s definitely worth filling in a claim pack. If no, go on to question 7.

7 If you got help during the night, would you need it for at least twenty minutes or at least twice a night? ]

If yes, it’s definitely worth filling in a claim pack. If no, it doesn’t mean you are definitely not eligible for attendance allowance, you should try to get advice from an advice agency.

How to start an attendance allowance claim

In order to start your claim you need a claim pack. The best way to get one is to make a call to the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055 (8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday) and ask them to send you an AA claim pack.

For more help with claiming members can download our attendance allowance guide from the members area. 

Our members guide to claiming Attendance Allowance covers:

• filling out the claim pack

• getting supporting evidence

• preparing for a medical