Can I claim Attendance Allowance?
What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is a form of financial assistance for those who require additional help at home due to an illness or disability. The allowance is tax-free, and claiming it won't affect any other income you receive.
Who is eligible for Attendance Allowance?
If you are over State Pension age (currently 66 for men and women) and require help with personal care due to a physical or mental illness or disability, you may be eligible to claim Attendance Allowance. There are no means tests, so your income and savings don't affect your eligibility.
How much money can you receive?
The amount you receive depends on the help you require. If you need help in the day or at night, you can receive £61.85 (lower rate). If you need help in both the day and night, you can receive £92.40 (higher rate).
What can the money be used for?
The allowance can be used for anything you need, such as heating bills, pre-cooked meals, or transportation. You don't have to use it to pay for a carer.
How do you apply?
You can get a claim form by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline or downloading it online. You'll need to describe how your illness or disability affects you and list things that you struggle with. It's important to explain the effects of your disabilities and health conditions and how they interact with each other. You can also attach supporting information, such as doctor's letters or your care plan.
Call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 (textphone 0800 731 0317) to request a form or visit www. gov.uk/attendance-allowance to download one online.
What care needs are covered?
Examples of common care needs include assistance with washing, bathing, using the toilet, and dressing. However, problems with housework, shopping, and gardening are usually not taken into account.
Age UK offers advice and information to individuals in later life through various channels, such as the Age UK Advice Line, publications and website.
Age UK Advice: Call 0800 169 65 65 for assistance. Our lines are open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm. Visit www.ageuk.org.uk for more information.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) - Provides free, independent and confidential advice on a range of issues including benefits, housing, debt and more.
Disability Rights UK - A national charity that provides information and advice on a range of issues affecting disabled people, including benefits, social care, employment and more.
Carers UK - A charity that provides information and support for carers, including advice on benefits and financial support. Visit www.carersuk.org for more information.
For more information about caring for a loved one at home join our discussion in our Facebook group Care Begins at Home for ongoing advice and support from our care experts.