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Overview

Attendance allowance is available to individuals’ who are aged 65 and above and requires personal care such as washing, dressing or eating due to disability or illness. The amount is paid at 2 different rates and the rates depend on the level of care that an individual needs because of his / her disability. Attendance allowance rate an individual gets depends on the level of help he / she needs.


Attendance allowance - claiming Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance rates

Rate

Level of help an individual needs

Lower rate is defined as £55.65

Regular help or constant monitoring during the day, or supervision at night

Higher rate is defined as £83.10

Help or monitoring all through day and night, or an individual is terminally ill

An individual can get extra council tax reduction, pension credit, housing benefit or attendance allowance. Getting Attendance allowance does not decrease other benefits, it may even add to them. If an individual has a carer, then claiming Attendance allowance may help them to be eligible for certain remuneration such as Carer's Allowance. Attendance allowance may also entitle an individual or his / her carer to help with council tax.

There are no restrictions on how an individual can spend the Attendance allowance, and it is not imperative to spend it on paying for the care that an individual needs. However, Council or trust can consider Attendance allowance when calculating the amount to be paid for any care services an individual may receive. All benefits and allowances are paid into an individual’s account, such as the bank account.

Change in circumstances

An individual’s circumstances can affect the amount he / she get, for example, switching between the lower rate and higher rate. An individual has an option to contact the Attendance allowance helpline if the circumstances change. For example:

  • the level of help an individual needs or his / her changing conditions
  • an individual is imprisoned or held in detention
  • an individual goes into a hospital or a care home
  • an individual stays abroad for 13 weeks or more

An allowance seeker can also contact the helpline if:

  • he / she changes their name, address or bank details
  • he / she wants to discontinue receiving benefits
  • the details of the doctor changed

Attendance Allowance helpline
Telephone: 0345-605-6055
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Weekdays – Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Eligibility

As states earlier, an individual is eligible for Attendance Allowance if he / she is 65 or over and the following apply:

  • is suffering from a physical disability or sensory disability (for example, blindness), or even a mental disability (including learning difficulties)
  • the disability is severe enough that is requires monitoring or some supervise, for the well-being of oneself and others

To be able to get an Attendance allowance an individual must be:

  • in Great Britain while making the claim, however, there are some exceptions for family members of the Armed Forces
  • in Great Britain for a minimum of 2 years in the last 3 years, however, it is not applicable for a refugee
  • habitually staying in the UK, the Channel Islands, Ireland, or Isle of Man
  • not subjected to immigration control

Assessments

An individual might get a letter stating that he / she needs to attend an assessment to check the eligibility. The letter will provide details about why and where an individual must go. During the assessment, an individual will be asked to produce documents for identification. He / she can use a passport or any three of the following:

  • birth certificate
  • bank statements
  • driving licence
  • life assurance policy

Attendance Allowance can be paid if an individual needs help with personal care. What matters most is that an individual need either attention or supervision, not whether he / she is presently getting all the required help that is needed. Hence, it is imperative for an individual is analyse the help that is actually needed, not just the help which they are currently getting.

Daytime test

To qualify the daytime test, an individual needs to showcase that either one of the following:

  • frequent personal care throughout the day
  • someone to check on the individual continually throughout the day to ensure that the person is safe

Night-time test

To qualify for the night-time test, an individual needs to show that either one of the following is definitely required:

  • help with personal care atleast twice at night, or just once for a minimum of 20 minutes
  • someone to check at least twice a night, or once a night for a minimum of 20 minutes, to ensure that the individual is safe

Terminal illness

Special rules allow individuals with terminal illness to get help swiftly. An individual is considered to be terminally ill if he / she have a progressive illness that is likely to limit the life expectancy to six months or less. Under these special rules, an individual does not have to satisfy the qualifying period and also do not have to be present in Great Britain for 104 weeks out of the preceding 156 week before claiming (a person only needs to be present at the time of claiming). If an individual is claiming Attendance Allowance under these rules, the claim should comprise a DS1500 form which is available from a consultant.

How to claim

An individual can use form AA1 to apply for the allowance by post. The form comes with notes instructing how to fill it along with the details of the address where it needs to be sent. An individual can also get a copy of the form from the Attendance Allowance helpline.

Attendance Allowance helpline
Telephone: 0345 605 6055
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If an individual needs help with applying please contact DNS Accountants or Next Generation Text (NGT) relay service at 18001 then 0345 605 6055 from Monday to Friday between 8am to 6pm. Click here to find out more about the NGT service

Alternative formats

An individual can call the allowance helpline to ask for substitute formats, such as Braille, audio CD or large print. An important thing to note is that Attendance Allowance can be backdated from the date of claim. This is usually the date the form is received or the date an individual call the enquiry line (it must also be noted that the allowance does not cover mobility needs for an individual)

Appeal a decision

An individual can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if they disagree with a decision

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