Attendance Allowance is a financial aid provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for people of the State Pension age who require assistance with personal care or supervision due to an illness, disability, or mental health condition. Successful claims award either £68.10 or £101.75 each week, based on the level of support the claimant needs.

Claims are paid out every four weeks, amounting to £272.40 and £407.00 respectively. This extra income can significantly help claimants and can be spent freely to meet personal needs and maintain independence at home. Importantly, there is no obligation to spend the benefit on care assistance.

This unique benefit, intended to aid older individuals, is tax-free and won’t interfere with other state support received. As such, the charity Independent Age has compiled a helpful fact sheet to guide new claimants through the application process and we will share seven top tips for completing the form further on.

Recent statistics released by the DWP for the month of August 2023 revealed that 1,525,421 people across Great Britain, including 136,252 residing in Glasgow were successfully claiming the benefit.

Crucially, Attendance Allowance is not subject to means-testing, therefore income from retirement earnings or savings is not considered in contrast to Pension Credit.

Advice for Completing the Attendance Allowance Application Form

Independent Age emphasizes the importance of clarity and detail while completing the form, as it allows the decision-maker to determine if you qualify for Attendance Allowance.

They suggest claimants should:

  • Detail how your condition impacts your daily life and what personal tasks pose challenges for you
  • Try to answer all the questions if possible while providing examples
  • State how much time specific tasks take and the assistance needed with them, even if you don’t currently have help
  • Discuss how your needs fluctuate on different days and how severe difficulties can become
  • Highlight activities you avoid due to difficulty— for example, putting on and taking off socks due to issues bending and reaching
  • Explain the repercussions of not receiving required care, particularly if you have a higher risk of falls
  • Send supporting information if available, for example, notes from your carer, GP, or consultant

More help and comprehensive assistance can be found on the Independent Age website by calling them on 0800 319 6789.

Below is a swift guide to the benefit to help you determine if you – or a family member – might qualify to make a claim.

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance assists with extra costs associated with having a disability, physical or mental health condition, or any severe illness that hampers your ability to care for yourself. It does not factor in mobility requirements.

Needlessly, you do not need to have someone caring for you to make a claim.

Eligibility for Attendance Allowance

Consider applying for Attendance Allowance if you have a disability or illness and need help or supervision throughout the day or at times during the night. Even if you don’t currently get that help, you can still apply.

This may include:

  • Assistance with your personal care – for example, getting dressed, eating or drinking, getting in and out of bed, bathing, and going to the toilet

  • Aid for ensuring personal safety

You should also consider applying if you have difficulties with personal tasks. For instance, if they take you a long time, cause pain, or require physical assistance. Attendance Allowance isn’t just for people with a physical disability or illness.

Consider applying if you need assistance or supervision throughout the day or night due to:

  • Mental health conditions

  • Learning difficulties

  • Issues related to sensory conditions – for example, if you are deaf or visually impaired

Common Conditions that Qualify for Attendance Allowance

Many medical conditions qualify for Attendance Allowance; these are often analyzed based on information recorded on the DWP’s Attendance Allowance computer system.

The following list serves to reflect the types of conditions that receive support through Attendance Allowance, although this should not be viewed as a definitive list for eligibility. If you need extra support during the day or night due to a long-term illness, disability, or health condition, the official eligibility guidance on the GOV.UK website can provide more precise information.

Typically, conditions include, but are not limited to arthritis, spondylosis, back pain, diseases of the muscles, bones, joints, trauma to limbs, visual and hearing disorders, heart disease, respiratory disorders and diseases, asthma, and cystic fibrosis.

Moreover, Attendance Allowance is also supporting 43,295 individuals dealing with terminal illness.

How much could I receive on Attendance Allowance?

You could potentially receive £68.10 if you need help either during the day or at night or £101.75 if you need help both during the day and at night or if you are terminally ill. This benefit is paid every four weeks, meaning you could receive either £272.40 or £407 each pay period. You can spend the money however you see fit and it could potentially help you stay independent in your own home for a longer period.

Following the annual benefits increase of 6.7%, Attendance Allowance claimants will receive either £72.65 (lower rate) or £108.55 (higher rate) weekly from April 8. This amounts to either £290.60 or £434.20 each pay period, which over the course of the 2024/25 financial year accumulates to a substantial £5,644.60.

An older man and woman are filling out a form together.
More than 1.5 million seniors are claiming either £68.10 or £101.75 each week in Attendance Allowance.
(Image: Getty Images)

Can might I claim Attendance Allowance with savings and other incomes?

Yes. Notably, Attendance Allowance isn’t means-tested, so whatever other income you have coming in or the amount you have in savings is irrelevant—there is no limit. Moreover, it is also tax-free, and you are exempt from the Benefit Cap, so you won’t have money reduced from any other benefits.

Will Attendance Allowance affect my State Pension?

No, it won’t impact your State Pension, and interestingly, you can also claim it if you’re still working and earning money.

Does Attendance Allowance affect other benefits?

Your other benefits might increase if you receive Attendance Allowance; these could include:

  • Extra Pension Credit

  • Housing Benefit Reduction

  • Council Tax Reduction

Application Process

Completing a comprehensive claim form is needed when applying for Attendance Allowance. While it may seem overwhelming initially, help is readily available from your nearest Citizens Advice, and they encourage you not to be deterred by the form’s complexity.

If you’d prefer to do it yourself, you can follow the Citizens Advice guide on how to fill in the claim form. Full details of how to obtain the application form via post or phone can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Approaching State Pension Age

If you are about to reach State Pension age and are considering applying for Attendance Allowance, it may be more beneficial to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP). You may be eligible to receive more funds.

Exclusions from Attendance Allowance

Unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for Attendance Allowance if you’re already receiving PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for your care needs. If you apply for Attendance Allowance while receiving DLA, typically, the DWP will reassess your DLA award instead.

You can renew your PIP or DLA when your current award ends, as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria. If unsuccessful, you can apply for Attendance Allowance as an alternative.

More information about Attendance Allowance is available on the Gov.UK website.

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