Attendance Allowance (AA) is a non-means tested benefit paid to those aged over 65 who have long term care needs. If you struggle with everyday activities such as going to the lavatory, getting in and out of bed or just simply getting dressed then you could be eligible to make a claim.
If you have any of the following conditions you could be eligible to claim…
- A physical illness or disability which impacts your ability to carry out everyday tasks
- A mental health condition
- A sensory impairment (deafness / blindness)
In order to make a claim you must have required help for at least 6 months (unless you are terminally ill in which case you claim immediately) and be aged 65 or over.
How much will I get?
There are two different levels of payments for AA.
(i) The lower rate which is £55.65 per week
(ii) The higher rate which is £83.10 per week
The rate you are awarded will depend upon the nature of the assistance you need, and at which times of the day you require it.
Lower Rate – You need help during the day OR night
Higher Rate – You need help during the day AND the night
How do I apply?
In order to make a claim you need to complete a claims form. You can download the forms here…
You can also start a claim by phone and request a form be sent in the post by calling the Attendance Allowance hotline.
Telephone: 0345 605 6055
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Calls are charged at 12 pence per minute.
Once you have completed the claims form you should post it to the following address…
Attendance Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
You should get written confirmation within 14 days from the DWP confirming they have received your application. After 8 weeks you should receive a decision letter informing you whether your claim has been successful or not. It will also state how long you will be eligible to receive AA for as well as the amount you have been awarded.
Help with completing the form
We recommend you complete the form carefully, making a duplicate copy for yourself. The form is long with many different sections to complete. Below are some useful tips for completing the form…
- Take your time, you do not have to fill it all in at once
- Make a list of all the assistance and help you need prior to filling in the form
- Be upfront and honest about how long daily activities take you to complete
- If you have a carer, get them to state all the help they provide you with
- List the different types of difficulties you encounter and what help you need to overcome them
- List any equipment you need or adaptations you may require
- Keep a daily record or diary of the help you need
- Explain in detail any falls or injuries you have sustained due to your condition (s)
- Get someone to help you fill in the form if you think you require assistance
Impact on other benefit claims
Making a claim does not impact upon the amount of income you can receive from other benefits you maybe claiming. In fact by claiming AA, you may also be entitled to also claim Council Tax Reduction, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit. However you cannot make a claim for AA if you already claim Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance.
Challenging a decision from the DWP
If you find your AA application was unsuccessful (or you are offered the lower rate when you think you should be on the higher rate) you can ask the DWP to reexamine your application. However, if after this you are still unhappy with a decision you do have the option of submitting a mandatory reconsideration notice and appealing the decision with the Tribunal Service. It should be noted time limits apply, so make sure if you are unhappy with a decision you take any action as soon as possible.