Attendance Allowance

What is Attendance Allowance?

A state benefit payable to people who are ill or disabled and who need help with personal care such as washing, eating, getting dressed or going to the toilet; or who need to be supervised because of a mental or physical illness or disability.

This benefit is not taxable, not based on National Insurance contributions and not means-tested and is paid in addition to any other social security benefits. Claiming Attendance Allowance may help the person needing care to remain independent and stay in his or her own home.

Who can claim Attendance Allowance?

The person claiming the benefit must be over 65 (there is no upper age limit), satisfy the day and/or night conditions as defined below and have been suffering from the disability or illness for a minimum period of six months (special rules apply for those suffering from a terminal illness). If the individual is already claiming Disability Living Allowance, they will not be eligible to receive Attendance Allowance as well.

How much is Attendance Allowance?

There are two levels of Attendance Allowance;

The higher rate is for those needing care on a 24-hour basis. Night conditions are defined as requiring care for 20 minutes or more at any one time, or at least twice per night. The day conditions are defined as needing personal care or supervision generally.

The lower rate is for those needing care either by day or by night, but not both.

When and how to claim

Anyone who has required help for at least the previous six months should claim immediately. The allowance will not be back-dated before the date the claim is made. Those who suddenly become ill or disabled can claim. It takes time for the claim to be processed and payments will only start after the qualifying period.

If you believe you are eligible to claim Attendance Allowance please contact your local authority, or visit their website, to obtain the Attendance Allowance claim form.

The levels and bases of taxation and relief's from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.