Attendance Allowance (AA)

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over state pension age who need help with personal care or supervision because of illness or disability. You need to have had the illness or disability for at least six months however if you are terminally ill you can apply straight away.

(See Personal Independence Payment for working age claimants or Disability Living Allowance for children under 16.)

Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability. 

Low rate: £58.70 per week

High rate: £87.65 per week

It does not cover mobility needs.

Who pays it?
The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).

How is it claimed?
Claimants can call 0800 731 0122 to request a claim form which will be posted out to them. The date the form is requested is the date the claim starts from if awarded. The form can also be accessed and printed. This is not an online application form. The form needs to be completed and then posted and the start date of the claim will be from the date the completed form is received by the Attendance Allowance Unit in the post.

Is it National Insurance based?

Is it means-tested?

How long does it last?
Awards can be made for a limited or open-ended period. It stops after four weeks in hospital or a care home. (Please Note - This can be cumulative e.g. one week then a break, then two weeks then a break, then one week = 28 days. It is important to keep track of this as overpayments can result if the DWP are not advised in time.)

Any effect on other benefits?
It is a qualifying benefit awarding extra premiums for Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

Is it taxable?

Are there any dependant's additions?
No, however a carer may be able to claim Carer's Allowance (seek advice before claiming this as it can affect the disabled person's benefits).

Is it payable in the European Union?
Specific advice available from: Overseas Benefits Directorate, 0191 213 5000.

What to do if you are unhappy with the decision?

1. You can request for the decision to be looked at again - this is known as a 'mandatory reconsideration.'

You need to ask the DWP for a mandatory reconsideration within one month of receiving your decision and you must provide reasons as to why you are asking for the reconsideration.

2. If you are still unhappy following the mandatory reconsideration decision you can make an appeal, which must be lodged within one month, directly to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Please use the 'contact us' box if you have any questions. For more information, see 'other useful websites'.

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