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Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over State Pension age who have personal care needs. This could be with things like getting dressed, washing yourself or eating.

To be eligible you need regular support through the day, through the night or all day and all night.

You can use Attendance Allowance to pay for anything. This could be personal care, a holiday or anything else you need.

Attendance Allowance:

Warning Claim PIP if you are under State Pension age

It is possible to claim more with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) than Attendance Allowance.

You cannot start claiming PIP after State Pension age. But if you are already receiving PIP when you reach State Pension age, you can carry on receiving it and you do not need to do anything until your next review.

PIP also has a mobility component that you could use to pay for a vehicle under the Motability Scheme. You cannot use Attendance Allowance for Motability.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Claim PIP if you think you may be eligible.

Personal Independence Payment: How to claim (GOV.UK)

Eligibility criteria

To be entitled to Attendance Allowance you must show that you need all of the following:

  • long-term support
  • frequent support
  • specific support

Get written medical evidence if you can. For example, a letter from a doctor.

Long-term support

You have needed support for 6 months and will need it for at least another 6 months.

Frequent support

You need frequent support through the day, the night or both.

Specific support

You are eligible if you need support with ‘bodily functions’. These include:

  • breathing
  • dressing
  • drinking
  • eating
  • going to the toilet
  • getting into or out of bed
  • hearing
  • seeing
  • sitting
  • sleeping
  • walking
  • undressing

You may be eligible if you need support with any of the following:

  • to stop being a danger to yourself or other people
  • because you have a mental health condition
  • because you have learning difficulties

Attendance Allowance form

Call to ask for the forms and your claim will start from when you call.

Telephone: 0800 731 0122

Monday to Friday, 8am to 3.30pm

Attendance Allowance: How to claim and helpline details (GOV.UK)

Forms

You can also download the forms instead of calling the government helpline. Your claim will start when the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) receives your form by post.

Attendance Allowance claim form (GOV.UK)

Helplines

You can call the Scope helpline about Attendance Allowance, including how to fill in the form.

Scope helpline

You can also search for support in your area:

Find an adviser (Turn2us)

Search for your local Citizens Advice

Your local authority may have a welfare department that could help. Applying on behalf of someone else You can also apply for Attendance Allowance on behalf of someone else.

How to apply for Attendance Allowance for someone else (Citizens Advice)

Higher rate of Attendance Allowance

There are 2 rates of Attendance Allowance.

Higher rate

You are eligible for the higher rate of Attendance Allowance if you need frequent support through the day and the night. You may also be eligible if you are terminally ill.

Lower rate

If you only need support either in the day or in the night, you're only eligible for the lower rate.

Terminal illness

You should be eligible for the higher rate of attendance allowance if you are both:

  • terminally ill
  • not expected to live for more than 6 months

Ask your GP, hospital doctor or nurse to sign a form called a DS1500.

The form confirms that you are terminally ill.

Other means-tested benefits

Attendance Allowance is not treated as income for means-tested benefits.

If you’re eligible, you claim Attendance Allowance and means-tested benefits at the same time.

Check what other benefits you might be eligible for. If you are eligible, you will usually be better off also claiming other benefits such as:

  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax reduction

Use the Turn2us benefits calculator to find out how much you might be able to claim.

Warning Tell the DWP when you start receiving Attendance Allowance

You need to tell the DWP if you start receiving Attendance Allowance. This is because if you are claiming other benefits, receiving Attendance Allowance is a change in circumstances.

Who you contact depends on the benefits you are claiming

Benefits: report a change in your circumstances (GOV.UK)

You would need to contact your local authority separately if you claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax reduction.

Blue Badge

You can apply online for a Blue Badge for parking for disabled people. Your local authority may be able to support you.

Apply for or renew a Blue Badge (GOV.UK)

Claiming Attendance Allowance does not automatically mean you will get a Blue Badge, but it may help.

You may need to give more evidence. For example, a letter from a doctor.

Carer’s Allowance

If you are getting Attendance Allowance, and a friend or family member is spending more than 35 hours a week looking after you, they might be able to claim Carer’s Allowance. This is a means-tested benefit.

Carer's Allowance

Warning Severe Disability Premium

If you are claiming Severe Disability Premium (SDP), this payment will stop if your carer applies for Carer’s Allowance.

If you get SDP, you might get a higher award when you need to claim Universal Credit, through Transitional Protection. Carer’s Allowance is not protected in the same way.

What is Universal Credit (UC) transitional protection? (Turn2us)

Get benefits advice (Turn2us)

If your condition gets worse

Report any change in circumstances to the DWP. This includes:

  • if the level of help you need or your condition changes
  • going into hospital
  • moving into a care home

Attendance Allowance: Report a change in circumstances (GOV.UK)

For example, you first claimed Attendance Allowance and needed support at night. Now your condition is worse, and you need regular support during the day too.

Reporting the change to DWP

Report your condition changing to the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122.

You will need to fill in another claim form.

The DWP will assess your claim as if it’s new. You will continue to receive your current award. The same eligibility rules for claiming the higher rate of Attendance Allowance will apply.

Show why you should be getting the higher rate by:

  • explaining how your needs have changed
  • sharing medical evidence

If you go into hospital

Your claim stops after 28 full days in hospital. This:

  • starts the day after you enter the hospital
  • ends the day before you leave

You should start receiving Attendance Allowance after you come out of hospital.

Call the Attendance Allowance helpline as soon as you can to tell them when you:

  • have to stay in hospital
  • leave hospital

Attendance Allowance: Report a change in circumstances (GOV.UK)

You may be eligible for support getting to the hospital. Find about:

Living in a care home

You cannot claim Attendance Allowance if your local authority is paying for your care.

You can claim Attendance Allowance if you are paying for your own care.

Call the Attendance Allowance helpline if you move into a care home.

Attendance Allowance: How to claim and helpline details (GOV.UK)

Benefits you cannot claim

You cannot claim these benefits while you’re claiming Attendance Allowance:

  • PIP (including Motability)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Appealing a DWP decision

If you do not agree with the DWP’s decision, you can challenge this.

The first stage is mandatory reconsideration. You can appeal this if you still disagree.

Challenging a DWP decision about benefits

Last reviewed by Scope on: 14/03/2022

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