Claiming attendance allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax free, non-means tested benefit administered by Disability and Carers Service for the Department of Works and Pensions for someone who suffers from an illness/disability and has care and/or supervision needs.

To qualify you must be 65yrs or over old when applying, satisfy the residency rules and have the right to reside in Great Britain.

You must have had a need for at least 6 months and expect to have needs for at least another 6 months OR claim under special rules if you are terminally ill.

Attendance Allowance may be awarded at one of two rates;

Higher rate  £85.60 per week for a Day and Night time need

Lower rate   £57.30 per week for a Day or Night time need

Day – you require from another person

a) frequent attention throughout the day in connection with your bodily functions, or

b) continual supervision throughout the day in order to avoid substantial danger to yourself or others.

Night – you require from another person

a)    prolonged or repeated attention in connection with your bodily functions, or

b)    in order to avoid substantial danger to yourself or others, somebody to be

Attendance Allowance upgrade

If the lower rate is already in payment and there has been an additional need for help with personal care/supervision at night which is repeated/frequent (twice or more) and/or for a prolonged period (20 mins +) an application to upgrade may be appropriate, this is also subject to a 6 month qualifying period

Attendance Allowance can be paid whether you have a carer in ‘attendance’ or not.

It is not about what is wrong with you but what help you need, you do not have to have a medical diagnosis to be eligible for Attendance Allowance.

Be reassured that a carer won’t suddenly appear uninvited on the doorstep if you complete the application form!


To claim Attendance Allowance you will have to complete an application form, it is fairly simple but quite lengthy (28 pages). If the DWP needs any further information they can ask for it or if you can send in additional evidence of your disability or illness. Try to keep it relevant to personal care and supervision needs. Housekeeping, shopping, driving, gardening are NOT personal care or supervision needs.

Attendance Allowance is paid at one of two rates, low or high depending on WHEN you need the help DAY or NIGHT not how bad you are.

Special rules apply for someone with a short life expectancy, ask the GP or other medical practitioner to complete a DS1500, the qualifying period does not apply in these circumstances.

  • Attendance Allowance cannot be paid in addition to Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance is not a qualifying benefit for a Motability care or road tax exemption
    It is payable for 28 days while in hospital
  • Can be paid to someone paying for their own care in a care or nursing home
  • May lead to means tested benefit entitlement and Carer benefits
  • Ask the DWP to look again at a decision that you do not agree with (usually within one month of the decision date).
  • Paid from the ‘date of claim’ if eligible.

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