If you’re over the State Pension age and have a disability that means you are in need of care, you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance.
This is a non-means tested, tax-free payment to contribute towards your care needs and living costs, which is usually paid every four weeks.
In this article, we’ll explain who is eligible for Attendance Allowance, how much you could get, and how to apply.
Am I eligible for Attendance Allowance?
In order to apply for Attendance Allowance, you must have reached the State Pension age, which is currently 66 for both men and women. You must also be a resident of Great Britain, and live in the UK, although you may also be able to apply if you’re a UK national living in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Read more about claiming benefits after moving abroad here.
The following must also apply:
- You have a physical disability (including sensory disabilities such as blindness or deafness), a mental disability, or both
- Your disability is serious enough that you require care or supervision, for your own or someone else’s safety
- You have needed that help for at least six months. However, if a medical professional thinks that you might have six months or less to live then you can claim immediately under ‘special rules’.
Attendance Allowance is not means-tested, meaning what you earn or how much you have in savings will not affect your eligibility.
You generally don’t need to undergo an assessment with a medical professional to prove that you need the allowance. You may need to do this if it’s unclear how your disability affects you, however.
You will not be eligible for Attendance Allowance if:
- You already receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Adult Disability Payment (ADP).
- You live in a care home where your care is paid for by your local authority. However, you may be able to make a claim if you live in a care home but still pay for care costs yourself.
How much is Attendance Allowance?
There are two different rates of Attendance Allowance – the one you receive will depend on the level of help you need. The rate you receive will be paid to your bank, building society or credit union.
The lower weekly rate of £68.10 is paid to those who need “frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night”.
The higher weekly rate of £101.75 is paid to those who need “help or supervision throughout both day and night, or a medical professional has said you might have six months or less to live”.
These rates apply from April 2023 to April 2024.
Again, the allowance is not means-tested, so your financial circumstances won’t affect the rate you receive.
You may be entitled to a different rate if circumstances relating to your care needs change, so you must report any changes by following the instructions here.
You may be entitled to a different rate if there’s a change of circumstances relating to your care needs, so you must report any changes by following the instructions here.
You may also be entitled to extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or a Council Tax Reduction if you get Attendance Allowance, so check with the helpline or office dealing with your benefit to see if this is the case.
Find out more about Pension Credit in our guide Pension Credit explained.
How do I apply for Attendance Allowance?
You can use the Attendance Allowance claim form to apply for the allowance by post. Once you’ve printed it out and filled it in,you then simply need to send the completed form to “Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance” – you won’t need to supply a stamp or postcode.
If you need to be sent a copy of the form, or need it in a special format (such as braille, audio CD, or with larger print), call the Attendance Allowance helpline at 0800 731 0122 or text them at 0800 731 0317.
If you disagree with a decision regarding your claim, you can ask for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’. Find out how to do this here.
For more information about receiving care, read our article Live-in care – what is it and what are the benefits? Or, for more information about paying for care, try our article How to pay for long-term care.
If you are curious about the other benefits you may be eligible for if you are retired or disabled, read our articles Benefits if you have a health issue or disability and Retirement benefits: what can you claim?
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