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 entitled to Attendance Allowance.

State Pension Age in the UK

To claim 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. Your state pension age is determined by your date of birth and will be different for most people.

Having a physical or mental disability

A physical disability is anything about your body that impedes normal function. Physical disabilities include sensory (e.g., blindness). A mental disability is a condition that affects your mental health or cognitive functioning, such as dementia or severe anxiety, which can impact your daily life and ability to care for yourself.

To claim Attendance Allowance, you need to have a physical or mental disability that is severe to the extent that you need help caring for yourself. This also includes being supervised for your own safety or the safety 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.

An elderly person receiving assistance at home.

Life Limited People and Attendance allowance

If your disability means you might have less than 12 months to live and are therefore terminally ill then you can claim 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 are terminally ill.

Citizenship and Attendance Allowance

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.

Eligibility Criteria for Council Tax Reduction

Means-Tested Benefits

If you receive means-tested benefits such as Pension Credit, Income Support, or Housing Benefit, you may be automatically eligible for a council tax reduction.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance itself doesn't automatically qualify you for a reduction, but it can be taken into account when assessing your overall situation. The council may consider your income and savings, and Attendance Allowance can affect these calculations favorably.

Severe Mental Impairment

If you or someone in your household has a condition that qualifies as a severe mental impairment, you might be eligible for a council tax discount or exemption. Conditions like dementia or severe learning difficulties often fall into this category.

Living Alone or with Others

If you live alone, you are generally eligible for a single person discount, which reduces your council tax by 25%. If you live with someone else who is also eligible for Attendance Allowance or other specified benefits, additional discounts may apply.

Eligibility for Attendance Allowance if Previously Awarded

If you have previously been awarded Attendance Allowance, you may still be eligible to receive it again, provided certain conditions are met:

  1. Continued Need for Help: Your eligibility to claim Attendance Allowance is based on your ongoing need for personal care or supervision due to your disability. If your condition persists or worsens, you can continue to get Attendance Allowance.

  2. Reassessment: Sometimes, your eligibility may need to be reassessed. This can occur if your previous award was for a fixed period, and that period has ended. You will need to provide updated information about your current condition and care needs.

  3. Change in Circumstances: If there has been a significant change in your circumstances since your last award, such as a change in your care needs or living situation, you will need to notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This could potentially affect your eligibility or the rate of Attendance Allowance you receive.

  4. Application Process: If your previous award has ended, you may need to reapply. This involves completing a new application form and providing evidence of your ongoing care needs. The DWP will review your application to determine your current eligibility.

Remember, Attendance Allowance is a benefit that supports individuals with disabilities who need help with personal care. Whether you are applying for the first time or reapplying, it’s crucial to clearly demonstrate your need for care to ensure you receive the appropriate support.

Professional help to Get Attendance allowance

Getting help from a professional with your Attendance Allowance form does not make you more or less eligible for the benefit itself. However, it can have a positive impact on the success of your application. You can get in touch with our attendance allowance helpline any time.

Advantages of Professional Help when Claiming attendance allowance

  1. Accuracy and Completeness: Professionals, such as welfare rights advisers or disability organisations, are experienced in completing these forms. They ensure that all necessary information is included, which reduces the chances of your application being delayed or rejected due to missing or incorrect details and can ultimately help you get attendance allowance.

  2. Detailed Information: Professionals can help you articulate the full extent of your care needs and how your disability affects your daily life. This can make your application stronger by providing a clearer picture to the assessors.

  3. Understanding Criteria: Professionals understand the specific criteria used to assess eligibility for Attendance Allowance. They can guide you on how to present your case effectively, ensuring that relevant details are highlighted.

  4. Appeals and Reconsiderations: If your application is initially unsuccessful, a professional can help you with the appeal or reconsideration process. They can provide advice on additional evidence or information that might strengthen your case and help you get attendance allowance.

No Impact on Eligibility

  • Eligibility Criteria: Your eligibility for Attendance Allowance is based on your disability and the extent to which you need help with personal care or supervision. This is assessed independently of who helped you complete the form.

  • Impartial Assessment: The decision-makers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) assess applications based on the information provided and supporting evidence, not on who completed the form.

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