Attendance Allowance Eligibility

Learn more about the eligibility criteria for Attendance Allowance

Am I eligible for Attendance Allowance?

This guide explains the eligibilty criteria for Attendance Allowance. If you are currently receiving Attendance Allowance and reading this, find that you are no longer eligible you should contact the Attendance Allowance helpline.  

We also have an article on change of circumstances which explains what to do when your circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for Attendance Allowance.

Pension Age in the UK

To receive Attendance Allowance you must have reached state pension age. That's the first piece of critical eligibility criteria.

Not everyone over their state pension age receives the allowance but if you are eligible then you may also receive additional pension credits.

Having a physical disability

A physical disability is anything about your body that impedes normal function. Physical disabilities include sensory (e.g. blindness) or a mental disability or both.

To be eligible for Attendance Allowance you need to have a physical disability and that disability is severe to the extent that you need help caring for yourself.   This also includes being supervised for your own safety or the safey of someone else.

Unfortunately if the disability is new and / or you have only needed help for a short time then you are not eligible for Attendance Allowance. You need to have needed help for at least 6 months before you become eligible.


Life Limited People

If your disability means you might have less than 12 months to live then you can get Attendance Allowance more quickly and, at the higher rate.  These are often referred to as 'special rules' but you do need a medical professional to assert that you have fewer than 12 months to live.


Citizenship and Eligibility

In order to claim Attendance Allowance you must:

  • be in Great Britain when you make your claim.  There are some exceptions to this if you or your family are members of the armed forces,
  • have lived in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years. However, this does not apply if you are a refugee or have humanitarian protection status,
  • be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man of the Channel Islands,
  • not be subject to immigration control unless you are a sponsored immigrant.


Being in Care

If you live in a care home you might be able to receive Attendance Allowance but only if you pay for all of the care costs yourself.

If you live in a council funded care home or you only pay for part of your care then you are not eligible for Attendance Allowance no matter how severe your disability is.


Getting Assessments

Sometimes you might be referred for an assessment if it is unclear how your disability affects you.

The Attendance Allowance department will write to you and explain why they would like to assess you.  It will also detail where and when you must go for the assessment.  

During the assessment a medical professional will examine you.  Not everyone needs an assessment.

If you are unsure, speak to us.

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