Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a state benefit available to over 65s with regular care needs
Attendance Allowance is a state benefit available to over 65s with regular care needs

Attendance Allowance is a benefit available to people over 65 years old who require significant help and care either through the day, through the night or through both periods.

Attendance Allowance is not means tested and is based instead upon the care you require.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for attendance allowance if you are a UK citizen, over 65 and you have a physical and/or mental disability that means you need help or supervision to be able to care and look after yourself.

If you have been receiving Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance up to the age of 65, you will carry on receiving this benefit.

How much benefit can I get?

The rate you receive will be free from being taxed. Note: Figures correct as of 8 August 2013.

Fig 1: How much benefit can I get?
Care Need Weekly Rate Received
Help or supervision during the day £53
Help or supervision during the night £53
Help or supervision during both the day and night £79.15

Daytime needs

You may be entitled to Attendance Allowance if you need frequent care through the day. The care you may need may include:

  • Help with dressing
  • Help with preparing food or eating
  • Help with washing or using the toilet
  • Help with reading or communicating
  • Help with taking medication or treating a health condition

If you have diabetes complications, or another health condition in addition to diabetes, that requires regular care through the day you may qualify for Attendance Allowance.

The presence of neuropathy, visual impairments, deafness, joint problems or complications as a result of heart, stroke or kidney problems could lead to difficulties in one or more of the above activities.

It is also important to take into account whether you need care to ensure you stay safe. This may be relevant if you are at significant risk of severe hypos or if you are at risk of falling perhaps as a result of hypos or motor neuropathy affecting your ability to walk or climb or descend steps.

Night time needs

You may be eligible for Attendance Allowance if you require care for at least 20 minutes during the night or at require help at least twice each night.

Examples where you may need help could include if you regularly require help going to the toilet more than once during the night. If you a problem with hypos during the night and require help with being monitored through the night, this will also be particularly relevant.

How will my application be assessed?

You may need to attend a face to face assessment so that a healthcare professional can assess your eligibility. If this is the case, you be sent a letter giving information on what to expect and where and when it will be.

At an assessment you need proof of ID which can either be your passport or 3 of the following:

Before you apply

Before you apply, it is well worth giving yourself a week or so to assess how diabetes and other health conditions affect you through the night and day.

Keeping a diary, or asking someone to help you keep a diary, is a good idea for making sure you include all the different care needs you have.

State the truth but don’t underestimate how much of an effect your condition may have on you.

How do I claim Attendance allowance?

When you’re ready to submit your claim, you can do this by post or online.

If sending by post, the form you need is called ‘AA1A’ and is available to download from the government website or you can call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0845 712 3456 (or by textphone on 0845 722 4433) Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.

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