If you are over 65 and have a long-term disability or health condition which means you require help with your care needs, you could be entitled to Attendance Allowance. It’s paid at 2 different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need. £54.45 per week is paid if you meet the criteria in the day or the night, and £81.30 per week is paid if you meet the criteria in the day and the night. This could make a huge difference to your life especially if you are dealing with a long term health condition that may have taken away some of your independence.
What is Attendance Allowance used for?
Attendance Allowance can be used on anything you choose, including to pay for any help that you rely on friends and family for. These are some of the things people use their Attendance Allowance for:
- taxis to get to and from the shops
- someone to do the garden, clean the windows, help with housework
- the additional cost of heating if you need to keep warm when you are unwell
- a special diet that helps you to manage your health condition
- aids, adaptations and appliances to make life easier for you
- flowers or treats for friends and relatives who have helped you out
- holidays, weekend breaks or trips to see friends or relatives
Other benefits you get can increase if you get Attendance Allowance. For further information about Attendance Allowance please visit the Benefits and Work website or speak to our Benefits Support Worker, call 0191 4900121 or contact us here to make an appointment.
Take the Attendance Allowance test
1. Are you aged 65 or over?
If yes, go to question 2. If no, you can not claim Attendance Allowance. However, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.
2. Has your health condition lasted at least six months?
If yes, go on to question 3. If no, you can still make a claim, but payment can only begin from the date when your condition has lasted six months. Go on to question 3.
3. Do you need someone to keep an eye on you throughout the day?
If yes, you needn’t answer any more questions, it’s definitely worth filling in a claim pack. If no, go on to question 4.
4. Do you need someone awake to keep an eye on you at night, (night is 11pm to 7am) for at least 20 minutes or at least two or three times?
If yes, you needn’t answer any more questions, it’s definitely worth filling in a claim pack. If no, go on to question 5.
5. Do you have difficulties with any of the activities below?
Answer yes if you do. (If some days you do and some days you don’t, answer yes)
- Moving about indoors
- Eating and drinking
- Communicating with people
- Getting into bed at night
- Getting to and using the toilet
- Looking after your appearance
- Social and leisure activities
- Coping with confusion
- Taking medication
- Staying safe if you’re alone
- Getting out of bed in the morning
- Washing, having a bath or a shower
- Getting dressed and undressed
- Coping with panic or anxiety attacks
- Coping with memory loss
Shopping and housework are not counted as everyday activities that are relevant to Attendance Allowance.
The sort of difficulties you might have with these activities include things like:
- it hurts
- you can only do it slowly
- you need to take a long rest after doing it
- you can only do it using a special technique of your own
- you need someone with you when you do it just, in case things go wrong
- it’s not safe for you to do it
- you can only do it if somebody prompts or encourages you
- you can only do it with physical help from another person
- you can’t do it at all
If you answered yes for any of the activities, go on to question 6. If you didn’t answer yes to any questions it doesn’t mean you are not eligible for Attendance Allowance, but you should get advice from our dedicated Benefits Support Worker, call 0191 4900121 or contact us here to make an appointment.
6. If you got help during the day, would it need to be frequently throughout the day – in the morning, in the middle of the day and in the late afternoon/evening?
If yes, you needn’t answer any more questions, it’s definitely worth filling in a claim pack. If no, go on to question 7.
7. If you got help during the night, would you need it for at least twenty minutes or at least twice a night? ]
If yes, it’s definitely worth filling in a claim pack. If no, it doesn’t mean you are definitely not eligible for Attendance Allowance, but you should get advice from our Benefits Support Worker, call 0191 4900121 or contact us here to make an appointment.
How to make a claim
In order to start your claim you need to request a claim pack, you can do this by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055, lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday, or you can download a claim pack here. Alternatively you can speak to our Benefits Support Worker who will print a copy of the claim pack for you. Please call 0191 4900121 or contact us here to make an appointment.
How is Attendance Allowance Paid?
Attendance Allowance is paid at 2 different rates –
- Lower rate – £54.45 for frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.
- Higher rate – £81.30 for help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you’re terminally ill.
The rate you are awarded depends on the level of help you need. Payments are usually paid in to your bank account every four weeks. You’ll be asked for your bank, building society or credit union current account details when you make a claim. You can normally only get paid in a different way if you have problems opening or managing an account.