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Attendance Allowance: Benefits for Pensioners and Older People

• Written by Katie


There are several different benefits available to those over the age of 65 in the UK. Attendance Allowance is perhaps one of the least widely-known, but could be incredibly useful to people who qualify. With this in mind, we're sharing our detailed guide to Attendance Allowance. This article will discuss the criteria for claiming, how much you can claim, and the other benefits you might also be entitled to.

For information on other benefits for pensioners and older people, read our comprehensive guide here.

What Is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people who require help or supervision as a result of a physical or mental disability. Unlike many other benefits, Attendance Allowance is not means-tested. This means it is available to anyone who meets the criteria, regardless of income. Furthermore, the amount you earn or have in savings will not affect how much you receive.

Who Is Eligible For Attendance Allowance?

In order to qualify for Attendance Allowance, you must have reached State Pension Age. If you aren't sure whether this applies to you, use the government's State Pension Age calculator. Besides, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have a physical and/or mental disability.
  • This disability is severe enough that you need help caring for yourself or supervision for your own/someone else's safety.
  • You have needed that help for at least 6 months.
  • You currently live in the UK, and have done for at least 2 of the last 3 years.

There are some slightly different rules for those with terminal illnesses: most importantly, the 6 month qualifying period does not apply.

Note: You cannot receive Attendance Allowance if you are already in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

How Much Could You Claim?

There are two different rates of Attendance Allowance. Which one you receive will depend on how much help you require. This will be determined via an assessment.

  • Lower rate: for those who need frequent help during the day or at night.
  • Higher rate: for those who need frequent help throughout the day and night.

You don't necessarily need to have a carer coming in already in order to qualify. The assessor just needs to see that you would benefit from assistance with certain tasks. This includes things like washing, eating, getting dressed, getting in and out of a chair etc.

Those who qualify for the lower rate of Attendance Allowance will receive £61.85 per week.

Those who qualify for the higher rate of Attendance Allowance will receive £92.40 per week.

It's important to note that this is a tax-free benefit - in other words, you do not have to count this money among your taxable income when doing any tax calculations.


How To Claim Attendance Allowance

If you are a resident of England, Wales, or Scotland, call the Attendance Allowance Helpline on 0800 731 0122 (textphone 0800 731 0317).

If you are a resident of Northern Ireland, contact the Disability and Carers Service on 0800 587 0912 (textphone: 0800 012 1574).

After this initial phone call, you will receive a claim form. Alternatively, you can download the claim form here (or click here for the Northern Ireland claim form).

Once you submit your form, the relevant people will contact you to arrange your assessment.

Other Benefits You Could Be Entitled To

If your Attendance Allowance application is successful and you or your partner are already receiving means-tested benefits or tax credits, you should notify any offices which pay them to you. This is because you may be entitled to an increase in other benefits, or some entirely new benefits.

These other benefits include:

  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • And several others.

Click here to read our detailed guide to benefits for pensioners and older people.

Receiving and Spending Your Attendance Allowance

If your application is successful, your Attendance Allowance will be paid straight into your bank account every 4 weeks.

You might assume that you are required to spend your weekly Attendance Allowance on hiring a carer. However, this is not the case! You are free to use the money however you see fit. If you don't want a carer coming into your home, you could put your Attendance Allowance towards a mobility aid or other helpful equipment, for example.

Consider a Lifeline Alarm

If you make a claim for Attendance Allowance, why not put it towards a Lifeline personal alarm? Our life-saving system is perfect for those with disabilities and long-term medical conditions, because it lets you call for assistance whenever you need it. If you ever have a fall, feel unwell, or are at all concerned for your safety, you would simply need to press your pendant button. Our 24/7 Response Team would answer your call within seconds and send help directly to you. What's more, we pride ourselves on providing a platinum service at an affordable price; the lower rate of Attendance Allowance would cover the cost of a Lifeline Pendant Alarm with plenty to spare!

For more information, read our quick guide to the Lifeline alarm service or give us a call on 0800 999 0400. Our friendly Customer Service advisors will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

You can also order your new personal alarm online today.

Editor's Note: This article was updated on 15th November 2021 to reflect current information.

14 Thoughts On This Blog
Alan Plunkett says:
23/01/2022 at 1:58

Hi im on high PIP and i receive pension credit so am i entitled to ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE

Kyle says:
24/01/2022 at 8:44

Hello Alan, Thank you for your comment. You cannot receive attendance allowance if you are currently receiving Personal Independence Payment. We will update the article to include this information. We hope this has been helpful. Kind regards, Lifeline24

Tracey Pickering says:
10/04/2022 at 9:14

I get pip for me but not my husband he is 73 he helps me but now he needs help to can he get attendance allowance thank you

Kyle says:
11/04/2022 at 9:17

Hello Tracey, Thank you for your comment. If your husband has a disability that means he requires additional help, he may be able to claim Attendance Allowance. If he is struggling, it may be worth visiting a doctor to get the problems diagnosed. This can aid with receiving financial support. You can claim Attendance Allowance on the government website. If you are still uncertain, further advice can be found by contacting Citizens Advice. We hope this has proved useful. Kind regards, Lifeline24

Peter Evans says:
12/04/2022 at 6:14

My wife has dementia and wet eyes which can lead to blindness, our G.P. text me to say that the medical condition report should be all we need to claim attendance allowance, is this correct? Regards, Peter

Kyle says:
12/04/2022 at 8:09

Hello Peter, Thank you for your comment. Provided your wife has needed additional support for at least six months, the medical condition report should be all you need to claim Attendance Allowance. However, if you are uncertain you can contact Citizens Advice for further information, or call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122. We hope this has proved useful. Kind regards, Lifeline24

Mrs Doreen Wood says:
13/04/2022 at 3:18

I wish to claim Attendance Allowance. I wish to know if this would change my husband and myself state Pension and all the add ons like,council rent ,140 pounds every year from our gas company for our gas. Or any other payments from the state. Thank you. Doreen

Kyle says:
14/04/2022 at 8:13

Hello Doreen, Thank you for your comment. To receive attendance allowance, you must already be in receipt of state pension. This means the amount received by state pension is unaffected. If you are accepted for attendance allowance, you may in fact receive a council tax reduction, meaning you will have to pay less. Other benefits such as winter fuel payment should be unaffected by attendance allowance. However, if you are uncertain you can call the attendance allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 and they will be able to explain whether any other benefits are affected. We hope this has helped. Kind regards, Lifeline24

Marilyn Delamont says:
18/04/2022 at 9:25

Hello. I would like to know if there are any benefits I can receive. I myself am a pensioner, but I currently work four hours a day as a school escort However, my husband (who is also a pensioner) will shortly be getting dialysis and is unable to do a lot of things for himself (bathing and walking etc). He also suffers with quite a few ailments (diabetes, anaemia, cancer to name a few). Is there anything we can claim so that I can give up work permanently? Thank you.

Lifeline24 says:
19/04/2022 at 7:06

Hello Marilyn, Thank you for your comment. If your husband needs additional support, he may be eligible for Attendance Allowance. If you provide at least 35 hours of care for him per week, you may be eligible for Carer's Allowance. You can also use a Benefits Calculator to find out what support you are eligible for. We hope this has proved useful. Kind regards, Lifeline24

Phyllis Douglas says:
28/04/2022 at 11:36

My husband receives attendance allowance. I am his carer, I applied for carers allowance but was refused as I was already in receipt of benefits. My state pension. Why is this classed as a benefit? I am now 72 and have worked since I was 15 and therefore paid for my pension. This money would help us immensely.

Lifeline24 says:
03/05/2022 at 10:18

Hello Phyllis, Thank you for your comment. If you feel you have been unfairly refused Carers Allowance, you can apply for a Mandatory Reconsideration. However, to be eligible for Carer's Allowance, your State Pension cannot exceed £69.70 per week. We hope this has proven useful. Kind regards, Lifeline24

Jacqui Easterbrook says:
25/05/2022 at 6:32

Are people with cancer who have difficulty walking eligible for benefits?

Lifeline24 says:
26/05/2022 at 7:44

Hello Jacqui, Thank you for your comment. They may be eligible for some benefits. However, how much support they receive will be dependent on how much support they need. If they are on a reduced income due to their diagnosis, they may be eligible for Universal Credit. They may also be eligible for Personal Independence Payment if their diagnosis has made it difficult for them to continue their daily living routines. You can find more information on benefits for supporting someone with cancer at Cancer Research UK. We hope this has proved useful. Kind regards, Lifeline24

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