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Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people age 66 and over who have health problems or disabilities.

It is not means-tested which means you can claim it even if you have pensions and savings. 

You do not need to be registered disabled to claim Attendance Allowance, and you do not have to have a carer looking after you.  

Amount of Attendance Allowance

The lower rate is £61.85 per week and the higher rate is £92.40 per week.

How Attendance Allowance is assessed

You can qualify if you need help with your personal care during the day or the night. 

Personal care includes getting out of bed, getting washed or showered, getting dressed and undressed. It also includes using the toilet and moving around your home safely.
The help must be needed regularly during the day and not just the morning or evening. If you need help at night, it must be needed on a few occasions or for more than 20 minutes. 

You can also qualify if you need someone to regularly check on you for your safety. 

Even if you don't get all the help you need, you should still apply if you find the tasks of daily living difficult on your own. Attendance Allowance is assessed on your needs and not on the care you actually get. 

For example, if daily living tasks causes you pain or breathlessness, makes your condition worse or if you need to rest afterwards.

Prompting or reminding you to do things can also count as help. For example, if you need someone to motivate you to get up or remind you to have a wash. 

How to claim

You can ask for an application form by phoning the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 or you can download the form at Attendance Allowance.

Tips for the Attendance Allowance form

  • If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness where it would not be unexpected if you died within 6 months, then you can ask your doctor for a medical certificate called DS1500 and your application will be fast-tracked without you having to fill in the whole form.
  • If you have any recent letters or reports from your doctor or hospital specialist you can send these in with your form
  • It is okay to repeat yourself on the form, give as much detail as possible to every question to help the person reading it understand
  • Help with housework or someone doing your shopping for you does not count as personal care for Attendance Allowance 

The decision 

If you are unhappy with the decision on your claim you can ask for it to be reconsidered. You can request a reconsideration over the phone or in writing within one month of the date on the decision letter. If you request it over the phone it might be a good idea to follow this up in writing, sending in any evidence you think will support your claim. 

You will then receive a new decision and if you still do not agree you can appeal to an independent tribunal.

If you are a resident of County Durham the Welfare Rights Service can help you to appeal and may be able to represent you at an appeal hearing. 

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