What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance is a payment for people aged 65 or over that find it hard to look after themselves.

It is used to help people stay independent in their home for longer.

Overview of Attendance Allowance

The Attendance Allowance helps with the extra costs of someone looking after you.

If you receive this benefit, you could get:

  • £57.30 a week if you need help either in the day or at night
  • £85.60 a week if you need help both in the day and at night*

*Rates apply from April 2018 to April 2019 and are usually paid every four weeks

How could attendance allowance help me?

A little extra money can go a long way; you can use the Attendance Allowance in any way to meet your needs and stay independent in your own home. It does not have to be spent on a carer.

Other benefits of the Attendance Allowance include:

  • Claiming won’t reduce any other income you receive
  • It’s tax free
  • When you’re awarded Attendance Allowance, you may become entitled to other benefits (e.g. pension credit, housing benefit or council tax reduction). If you are already receiving these benefits, you may get an increase in them
  • It’s not means-tested, so it does not matter how much income and savings you have
Am I eligible?

To receive the Attendance Allowance, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • Are 65 or over – if you are younger than this, you might be eligible for PIP instead
  • Could benefit from help with personal care (getting washed/dressed or require supervision)
  • Have any type of disability or illness, including sight or hearing impairments, or mental health issues like dementia
  • Have needed help for at least 6 months, though if you are terminally ill, you can make a claim straight away
How do I claim Attendance Allowance?

Get a claim form by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 (textphone: 0800 731 03177) or you can download a claim form from the GOV UK website

Tips with the form:

  • Don’t leave things out, even if you feel you can manage well
  • Describe any accidents or falls you’ve had
  • Explain the effects of all your disabilities and health conditions, and how they interact with each other
  • List things that you struggle to do unaided, even if you’ve found ways to cope
  • If an activity takes you much longer to do than someone without a disability or it’s difficult to do safely, include this too
  • Focus on how frequently you need help. For example, if you need help looking after your appearance, this could add up to six or seven times a day, if you include help to check your clothes are clean after a meal, help to find a coat and matching shoes, and so on.
  • Give plenty of information in your own words about your personal circumstances. Don’t worry if you need to repeat yourself.
  • Bear in mind that Attendance Allowance doesn’t usually take into account problems with housework, cooking, shopping and gardening.

What should I do next?

Before you apply for Attendance Allowance, make sure you’re fully informed about the benefits you’re entitled to. Take a look at these resources: