Attendance Allowance: What You Need to Know About It

Attendance allowance is an advantage for people over State Pension age (65+). This is especially for them who need help with supervision or care because of their mental or physical disability or prolonged illness. 

Attendance allowance includes helping with daily living activities like going to the toilet, getting dressed, or having someone to care for you. Hence, the purpose of this scheme is to provide a carer to do these tasks, so you don’t have to trouble yourself. 

Furthermore, it also includes providing help outside your home. 

What does Attendance Allowance Cover? 

It covers any type of illness or disability such as hearing or sight impairments, mental problems like depression or dementia. But, Attendance Allowance doesn’t cover mobility requirements.

You will get help with personal care for at least 6 months by claiming Attendance Allowance.  Else, if you are terminally ill, then you can claim it for an extended time. 

The allowance is paid on the basis of two separate rates. Also, the help you will get depends on the degree of your disability. 

However, it never exerts an effect on the incomes you receive from other resources. By claiming this, you may get several benefits like Council Tax Reduction, Housing Benefit, Pension Credit, and so on. If you are already receiving these benefits, then it will increase your overall income. 

Eligibility of Claiming Attendance Allowance

There are some criteria that you must meet to claim this Attendance Allowance. Some of them are: 

  • If you are over the State Pension age, then you can claim this. But, if you are below the State Pension age, then you can claim for Personal Independence Payment instead of Attendance Allowance. 
  • You must not be living in a hospital, or a council care home. 
  • You must be living in the United Kingdom while making a claim for this. It is also required that you are living in the UK for the last six months or for the same duration last year. 

There are some special rules for the people who have returned from a European Economic Area country. These rules are quite complicated. So, it is recommended to hire an expert to guide you regarding the allowance. 

Furthermore, there are several adviser tools, you can use that to find a local benefits expert.

Special Rules for People with Terminal Illness 

If your doctor prescribed that you are terminally ill or expected to die within six months, then there are some exceptions to provide you the help at the highest rate of Attendance Allowance. 

In this case, it is not mandatory to live in the UK for six months in the last year. So, to get this benefit, you will have to ask your healthcare specialist or doctor for the DS 1500 form. Here, the special rules section must have to be filled by the doctor. 

Furthermore, other persons like your friend, relative, or partner can also apply this on your behalf under these special rules. However, if someone else claims the Attendance Allowance for you, the benefits and money will be given to you. 

How Much Could you Get from Attendance Allowance? 

There are some specific rates for people who claim Attendance Allowance. Usually, Attendance Allowance is paid every four weeks. Let’s take a look at the types of rates per week. 

  • Lower Rates: You will get the amount £58.70 (per week) if you need help during the day or at night.
  • Higher Rates: You will get the amount £87.65 (per week) if you are terminally ill or need help during the day and at night. 

How Could Attendance Allowance Help you? 

A little amount of extra money can help you a lot. You can utilize it in any way to meet your requirements. It can also help you to live an independent life in your home and without going to any care providing center. Most importantly, you don’t have to use this money on a carer. 

There are some other benefits that you can get by claiming Attendance Allowance. Some of them are: 

  • It won’t reduce any income that you receive from any other allowances. 
  • Attendance Allowance is tax-free. 
  • It is not means-tested. So, it doesn’t depend on how much savings or income you have. 

How to Claim Attendance Allowance? 

To claim the Attendance Allowance, you have to download the claim form from the official Govt website of the UK. Fill the form carefully and correctly. 

Attach the supporting documents with the form and submit it online. Otherwise, you can send it to the address mentioned on the form. 

Thereafter, the Department of Work and Pensions will contact you within a short time for further details. They will arrange a doctor and send him/her to your place. 

So, it’s better to be prepared for that physician by noting down the things that you would want the doctor to know. 

After he/she visits your place, you will get a decision letter. From this letter, you will know whether or not you will get the Attendance Allowance. It will also reveal from what date the allowance will start and how much help you will get. 

Tips to Fill the Attendance Allowance Claim Form

The decision-maker uses the form to make the decision whether or not you are qualified for Attendance Allowance. So, it’s essential to provide as much details as possible: 

  • Don’t forget to clarify how the disability or illness affects your daily life. Try to explain what personal tasks you have problems with. 
  • Explain how much help you need from them. You may include the time it takes you to complete the daily tasks. 
  • Mention the things that you avoid doing because they are difficult for you. For example, if it is difficult for you to bend and reach to put on and take off socks while sitting down. 
  • Try to explain what happens if you don’t receive the help you require. Especially, if it has left you at the risk of struggling or falling in order to manage some task. 
  • You can also send supporting information from your GP, carer, or consultant. 

What Documents are Required to Claim it? 

You can provide your National Insurance number as the supporting documents. If you don’t have that, then you can send your identity proof like a driving license, passport, birth certificate, etc. 

Furthermore, you can also use your care plan, GP letters, or list of prescriptions as your supporting documents. 

When will the Claim Begin? 

The Attendance Allowance application can’t be backdated. The time of the claim will be the time you ask and call apply the Attendance Allowance form. Also, it remains valid as long as you fill and return it within the given time. 

Change of Circumstances 

If there are any changes in the circumstances that are affecting your entitlement to the benefits, then you can report it. So, if you are unhappy with any aspect while claiming this allowance, you can appeal.