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Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a benefit for disabled people who are over state pension age with care needs.

You do not have to receive help providing you can show you need it. You must usually have had care needs for at least 6 months before you can get AA and expect to have care needs for at least 6 months after making the claim.

Eligibility for Attendance Allowance

There are special rules for those who are terminally ill. A health professional can sign a form called a DS1500. This confirms the prognosis and AA may be automatically awarded for a 3-year period.

AA does not have a mobility component.

To claim AA, you must be usually living in the UK and not in a care home or hospital. You can continue to get Attendance Allowance if you are fully self-funding in care. Usually your AA will not be affected if you:

  • are admitted into hospital or a care home for less than 4 weeks
  • go abroad for less than 13 weeks
  • go abroad for less than 26 weeks to get medical treatment for a condition which began before you left

If you receive AA, it may increase the amount of other benefits or credits you are entitled to, such as: 

If you start getting AA, someone looking after you might be able to claim Carer’s Allowance.

AA is normally ignored as income when assessing other benefits. There are 2 rates.

  • You get the lower rate if you need frequent help during the day or supervision at night.
  • You get the higher rate if you need help or supervision throughout both the day and night or if you are terminally ill.

How to apply for Attendance Allowance

Download a AA claim form (GOV.UK)

Or call the free helpline on 0800 731 0122 (Textphone 0800 731 0317).

Challenging a decision

If you disagree with the decision made on your benefit claim, you can ask for a Mandatory Review.

If you still believe the decision is wrong, for example due to incorrect information being used, you can appeal. You have 1 month to dispute a decision, so it's important to seek advice and act quickly.

Find a benefits adviser (Turn2Us)

Challenging a benefits decision

Last reviewed by Scope on: 24/09/2020

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