Attendance Allowance Explained
What is it?
If you have reached state pension age and need personal care due to an illness or disability you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance. The sort of things you might need help with include getting in/out of bed, washing, dressing, eating and drinking, moving around the house, getting to and using the toilet, taking medicines or seeing and communicating.
You do not actually have to be getting help in order to qualify - if it is reasonably required you may be able to get the benefit.
Can I get it?
If you have an illness or disability that affects your daily life then it is worth finding out whether you can claim Attendance Allowance. Each claim is assessed individually to see whether you meet the eligibility rules and which rate is payable.
Attendance Allowance is not means-tested so it does not matter what other income or savings you have. You normally will have needed help for six months before benefit can be claimed, but there are special rules if you have a terminal illness. A claim can be made on your behalf if you cannot manage your own affairs.
You must have reached state pension age to claim Attendance Allowance - if you are still working age then you can claim Personal Independence Payment.
How much do I get?
The amount you get depends on how much your disability affects you.There are two rates of Attendance Allowance. From April 2021:
Higher Rate = £89.60 per week
Lower Rate = £60 per week
How do I claim?
Attendance Allowance is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions who run a confidential telephone service to help people with disabilities and carers. Contact details are on the Disability benefits helpline page. For Northern Ireland the details of how to claim are on the NIdirect website.
The application form is very long and asks for a lot of personal information. You should get a friend, relative or adviser to help you complete it if possible. Many advice agencies can make an appointment for you to visit them to do this. There may be some sections of the form that you are more comfortable filling in on your own, but a professional adviser is used to dealing with sensitive information and can help you complete the form correctly. For organisations that can help with claiming disability benefits please visit the sites on our more advice page.