Attendance allowance – how it works

Attendance allowance can be claimed by people aged over 65 who need help with washing, dressing or eating as result of an illness or disability.

Who can claim attendance allowance?

  • Firstly, it is important to know that attendance allowance is not means-tested and anyone over 65 who meets the criteria can apply
  • People with a physical disability or a mental disability (including dementia) can claim the allowance
  • People who need help caring for themselves or need supervising for their own safety and that of others
  • Anyone who meets the above criteria and has also been in the UK for at least two of the past three years and is in the country when they claim

For more information about eligibility for the attendance allowance, see the Gov.UK website.

How much is the attendance allowance?

The allowance has two rates of payment (2016-2017)

  • £55.10 a week for people needing help for either day or night
  • £82.30 a week for people needing help in the day and at night

Where to get an attendance allowance form?

See the Gov.UK website relating to attendance allowance forms to see how you can download, print or receive a form in the post.

Before you fill in the form

Some people fail to claim attendance allowance as they find the form complicated to fill in. Age UK may be able to help you fill in the form or ask a family member or friend if you are having difficulties.

Gather together the following information if you are planning to fill in the attendance allowance form:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • The name and surgery address of your GP
  • Details of medication
  • Your hospital record number
  • Name, address and dates of stay in hospital, care home or similar
  • Details of the daily tasks you have problems with, including washing, dressing, preparing food or taking a bath safely

Key facts about attendance allowance

Key facts about attendance allowance include:

  • Claims usually take around 40 days to process but can, in some circumstances be backdated to the date the claim was received
  • You could get extra pension credit, housing benefit or council tax reduction if you get attendance allowance
  • Receiving attendance allowance won’t affect any other benefits that your relative claims. 
  • Attendance allowance should not be affected if your relative is temporarily away from home - for example, if they go into hospital or a care home for less than four weeks; go abroad for less than 13 weeks; or go abroad for less than 26 weeks to get medical treatment.
  • If your relative is awarded attendance allowance, at either rate, and has a carer, that person may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.