Attendance Allowance

What is Attendance Allowance 

Attendance Allowance is a benefit the UK government offers to assist with the additional costs of living with a disability if you’re over State Pension age. It’s not means-tested, so it doesn’t depend on your income or savings.

Here’s a summary of Attendance Allowance:

  • Who can qualify: People in the UK who are over State Pension age and require help with daily tasks or supervision due to a physical or mental disability.
  • How much is awarded: Two different weekly rates depending on the level of care needed.
  • What it can be used for: There are no restrictions on how you spend the money. It can be used to pay for care or anything that helps you manage your condition.

To find out if you’re eligible and how to claim an Attendance Allowance, you can visit the official government website.

Who can apply for an Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance is available in the UK for people who meet all of these criteria:

  • Over State Pension age: This is the main requirement. The exact age varies slightly but you can check the latest details on the government website.
  • Disability or illness: You need to have a long-term physical or mental disability or illness.
  • Need for help: Due to your disability, you must require regular help with daily tasks like washing, dressing, or getting around. This could also include needing supervision for safety reasons.
  • Help needed for at least 6 months: The need for help has to be ongoing for at least 6 months, unless you’re terminally ill. In that case, you can claim straight away.

It’s important to note that Attendance Allowance is not available if you’re under State Pension age. If you’re younger, you might be eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

To apply for Attendance Allowance, you can follow these steps:

There are two ways to apply for Attendance Allowance:

  1. Online: You can’t fill out the application form online, but you can start a claim by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline at 0800 169 0154. The date of your call will be considered the start of your claim as long as you return the paper form they send you within 6 weeks.
  2. Paper form: This is the most common way to apply. Here’s what you do:
  • Download the Attendance Allowance claim form
  • You cannot use a mobile phone or tablet to fill out the form. Print it out and complete it by hand, or use a desktop/laptop with a PDF reader.
  • Fill out the form carefully, providing as much detail as possible about your disability and how it affects your daily living.
  • Gather any supporting documents like doctor’s letters or care plans to strengthen your application.
  • Once completed, send the form to the freepost address provided on the form (no stamp needed).

After submitting the application:

  • You’ll receive a confirmation letter within 3 weeks acknowledging your application and estimating the processing time.
  • You might be contacted for a face-to-face assessment by a healthcare professional to understand your needs better. This doesn’t always happen, though.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make a decision on your claim and send you a letter explaining the outcome. This typically takes a few months.

Possible outcomes:

  • Attendance Allowance awarded: If approved, you’ll receive a letter explaining the amount awarded (either the lower or higher rate) and the start date for payments. Backdating is not possible.
  • Attendance Allowance not awarded: The letter will explain the reason for rejection and your right to appeal the decision.

Care Needs:

Describe your disability or illness and how it affects your daily life. Be specific about the difficulties you face and the care you require.

Provide details about any physical or mental tasks you need assistance with, such as bathing, dressing, eating, using the toilet, or moving around.

Explain any challenges you face when managing medication, preparing meals, or maintaining personal hygiene.

Mention any safety concerns or risks associated with your disability or illness.

Medical Evidence:

Include any relevant medical reports, letters, or documents that support your application. These could be from your doctors, specialists, or healthcare professionals who are familiar with your condition.

Attach copies of any assessments or reports from previous applications for disability benefits if you have them.

Additional Information:

Explain how your disability or illness affects your socialising ability, participating in hobbies or activities, or carrying out domestic tasks.

Describe any specific aids, equipment, or adaptations you require to manage your care needs.

If you have a carer or family member who assists you, provide their details and describe their role in supporting your care.

Declaration and Consent:

Sign and date the declaration section of the form to confirm that the information you have provided is accurate and complete.

If you have difficulties filling in the form yourself, you can appoint someone to help you, and they should sign and date the relevant section.

Providing as much detailed and specific information as possible is crucial to help the DWP understand your care needs and make an accurate assessment. If you are uncertain about any sections of the form, you can seek assistance from welfare rights advisors, support organisations, or the Attendance Allowance helpline.

The DWP provide a guide on filling in the form.

Await a decision: The DWP will review your application and supporting documents. They will assess your eligibility for Attendance Allowance based on your care needs and the impact of your disability or illness on your daily life. You will receive a decision letter informing you of whether your application has been approved.

If your application is successful, the letter will detail the rate of Attendance Allowance awarded and when the payments will start. If your application is declined, the letter will explain the reasons for the decision, and you may have the option to request a reconsideration or appeal the decision if you believe it to be incorrect.

Remember to keep a record of all correspondence and documents related to your Attendance Allowance application for future reference.