Attendance Allowance explained - Relative Matters, Worthing, Sussex

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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 has an illness/disability and care and/or supervision need.

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.

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

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

Day – you require from another person.

frequent attention throughout the day in connection with your bodily functions, or continual supervision throughout the day in order to avoid substantial danger to yourself or others.

Night – you require from another person

prolonged or repeated attention in connection with your bodily functions, or in order to avoid substantial danger to yourself or others, somebody to be awake for a prolonged period or at frequent intervals

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

Attendance Allowance upgrade

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

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 six month qualifying period.

Essential facts on Attendance Allowance:

  • 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.
  • Attendance Allowance is payable for 28 days while in hospital.
  • Attendance Allowance can be paid to someone paying for their own care in a care or nursing home.
  • It 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).
  • Attendance Allowance can be paid from the ‘date of claim’ if eligible.

Request an application form 0800 731 0122

To claim Attendance Allowance you will have to complete an application form, it is relatively simple but quite lengthy (28 pages).

If the Department of Work and Pensions, DWP, need 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 sick you are.