Sometimes our loved ones need extra support. If they have a severe disability, whether due to age or a health condition, they may require someone to help look after them. In these circumstances, your loved one may be eligible for attendance allowance.
What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance allowance is a benefit available to people over state pension age. It provides financial support to help pay for personal care or supervision. Your loved one can receive up to £92.40 a week depending on how much support they need.
Eligibility for Attendance Allowance
To receive attendance allowance, your loved one must have reached the state pension age and be a resident of the UK. This includes living in the UK for at least two of the last three years.
They must have a physical or mental disability, or both, that means they require support or supervision. For example, your loved one may not be able to wash themselves or get dressed effectively. To be eligible, they must have required that help for at least six months.
It is not necessary for your loved one to have a formal diagnosis, meaning they can make a claim if they are still undergoing tests. They will remain eligible even if they are already receiving some care, or if they live with someone who helps them. Eligibility is based on what is needed, not what is already being received.
Different rules apply if your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are not expected to live for more than six months. In these circumstances, there is no qualifying period. If extra support is needed, your loved one can apply immediately.
Most care home residents are not eligible for attendance allowance. However, your loved one can make a claim if they cover the costs of the care home themselves.
How Much Does Attendance Allowance Pay?
There are two main rates for attendance allowance, which are dependent on the amount of support your loved one requires. As attendance allowance is not means-tested, your loved one’s earnings and savings will not affect how much they receive.
The rates are as follows:
- Low Rate – If your loved one requires frequent help or supervision during the day or at night, the 2022/23 rate is £61.85 a week
- High Rate – If your loved one requires help or supervision throughout the day and night, or they are terminally ill, the 2022/23 rate is £92.40 a week
Receiving attendance allowance can impact other benefits. If your loved one is approved, they may receive extra pension credit, housing benefit, or council tax reduction.
How to Claim Attendance Allowance
If your loved one is interested in claiming attendance allowance, they will need to fill in an application form. These can be downloaded from the government website or requested over the phone.
Beginning the claim over the phone is recommended, as payments will be backdated to the date of the call. When a form is downloaded and sent in, payments are only backdated to the date the form was received.
The attendance allowance helpline can be reached on:
- Telephone – 0800 731 0122
- Textphone – 0800 731 0317
Line are open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 3:30pm.
Once the form has been filled in, simply post it to:
Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance
It will not require a stamp or postcode.
Your loved one will usually find out within six weeks whether they have been approved for attendance allowance.
What If My Loved One Is Rejected?
If you and your loved one disagree with the Department of Work and Pensions’ decision, you can challenge the outcome of the claim. Challenges must be issued within a month of receiving the decision letter. You can request what is called a “mandatory reconsideration” by calling the DWP, sending a letter, or filling in the official form.
More information on requesting a mandatory reconsideration can be found on the government’s page, Challenge a benefit decision.
What Can Attendance Allowance Be Spent On?
Officially, your loved one is free to spend their attendance allowance on anything. Ideally, though, it should be used to pay towards additional help or supervision.
Extra Support from Careline365
One option your loved one may wish to consider is a personal alarm from Careline365. These helpful devices provide extra peace of mind around the home. A simple press of a button is all it takes to request support. Our professional Care Team are available 24/7, 365 days a year, ensuring your loved ones are always in safe hands.
Furthermore, Careline alarms are easy to install and come with next-day delivery. To find out more about our products, be sure to check out our detailed guide.
For more helpful content like this, look at our blog. If you have any further questions about the service, please get in touch with our helpful team. You can reach us on 0800 101 3333 or fill in our convenient contact form.