Who can claim Attendance Allowance?
The attendance allowance benefit is for anyone who has a disability, is also over their state pension age and needs support with their personal care or bodily functions or needs supervision to avoid a risk to themselves or others. You do not need external help or support to claim Attendance Allowance.
In this guide
- What the Attendance Allowance Form looks like
- Under what circumstances can you use the form
- Where to get the Attendance Allowance form
- Before you begin completing the form
- Filling in the form for someone else
- How to answer the questions in the form
- Where to send the form
- When your health condition changes
What the Attendance Allowance Form looks like
Form AA1 ‘Attendance Allowance for people of State Pension age or over (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/attendance-allowance-claim-form) is available from the Department of Work & Pensions in England.
The form has 30 pages and also comes with guidance notes referred to as ‘AA1 notes’. These documents can be found by clicking the link above.
You can print the form off and complete it by hand or you can complete the form on your computer but you cannot complete the form on a phone or tablet.
If you would like the DWP to send you a paper copy of the form, you can call the Attendance Allowance Helpline (https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance/how-to-claim).
You must have been having difficulties or receiving support for less than six months, you cannot complete the form until you have. However, if you have less than six months to live you can complete the form straight away. You will also need to ask your doctor to fill in form DS1500 and send it to the DWP.
The Attendance Allowance Form AA1 looks like this:
It is black, white and gray and fits onto A4 paper.
Under what circumstances you can use the form
If you have reached your state pension age, you can use the Attendance Allowance form if you also have a disability meaning you need ‘attention’ to care for yourself or you need support at home.
You must have been having difficulty or requiring attention or supervision for at least six months. This can be physical or mental disability.
You can claim even if you do not receive any outside support, for example if you live alone and do not have anyone visit you to help.
You also need to have lived in Great Britain for at least two of the last three years but exceptions apply if you or your family are in the armed forces.
If you go into a home or hospital you will no longer be able to receive Attendance Allowance. However, if you live in a care home but you pay all of the costs (instead of the council) then you can still claim Attendance Allowance.
Sometimes people think that if they have small or large amounts of money saved in the bank that they would not be able to claim Attendance Allowance and use form AA1. This is not the case. Attendance Allowance is not affected by any savings or investments you might have.
Where to get the Attendance Allowance form
The Attendance Allowance form is available from the Department for Work and Pensions. It can be downloaded from their website or you can have a paper copy sent by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline.
Before you begin filling in the form
Make sure you have your National Insurance number, your GP's details and a list of any medication you take. You will be asked for this information in question 14.
Filling in the form for someone else
You can fill in form AA1 for someone else, or you can have someone else fill it in for you. The applicant must sign the form themselves unless:
- You have already been legally appointed to receive and deal with their benefits. That is, you are a benefit appointee, a deputy or hold Power of Attorney for Property and Finance (this does not include Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare),
- The person you are claiming for is either too ill or disabled to claim for themselves or lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. You wish to be appointed to deal with their benefits, or,
- You are completing the form in their absence and/or without their knowledge.
How to answer the questions in the form
The real substance of the Attendance Allowance form is answering questions about your disability (or disabilities) and how they affect your life on a daily basis.
How you answer the questions is the only way the DWP can assess your need for help so it’s important to be open and honest without over exaggerating or (as is more commonly the case) downplaying your situation.
It can help to start keeping a diary. In life, when we have difficulties we just get on with it and perhaps don’t take stock of how you are adjusting your day to day to accommodate your disability. You might also not realise how much help and support you are getting from friends and family.
So keeping a diary is a really easy way to remember exactly what you are finding difficult each day and how much assistance you are receiving from others. But again, a lack of assistance is not a bar to claiming.
The DWP are looking to see in your answers how much attention or supervision you need on a daily basis and what kind of difficulties you are experiencing.
They also want to know how often you need attention or supervision or experience difficulty and the kind of attention or supervision you need.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, bear in mind that you might not be getting any attention or supervision at the moment but you could do with some. A good example of this is using furniture to support you when you are moving around a room.
Answering questions about personal tasks
Personal tasks are things like getting out of bed, getting dressed, taking a shower or preparing a meal.
These tasks take place during the day but they might also take place at night, for example if you need some help getting out of bed to go to the toilet.
There are a lot of questions and a lot of boxes to fill in. Just remember to work through each question one at a time and use your diary to give an honest answer to each question.
Some of the boxes are quite small which means you may feel you need to be succinct with what you write. If you don’t have enough space you can add extra blank sheets to the printed copy – just make sure they have your name and national insurance number on them.
It’s really important to use the text boxes available to give answers so don’t just leave them blank.
It’s worth remembering that the person making the decision about your Attendance Allowance application will not be a medical expert. Include lots of detail in your description.
Be sure to write down if a personal daily task is:
- Takes a long time
- Puts you or others in danger
- Makes you feel breathless
- Makes you unsteady
As we said, if you need to use extra paper, you can. Just reference the question number in your response and ensure you point out that more information has been provided otherwise the assessor might not see it.
Where to send the form
The form can be sent to the Department for Work and Pensions. You can post it by freepost (so you do not need a stamp) to
Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance
When your health condition changes
If your health condition changes, it’s important that you let the DWP know. If your health condition changes and you no longer need Attendance Allowance and you fail to let the DWP know that you could face an overpayment, a penalty or at worst end up in court.
If your health condition gets worse and you find you need more attention or supervision you could also be entitled to Attendance Allowance at a higher rate.
Getting help from a benefits expert
There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, Attendance Allowance claimants that do ask for help stand a much better chance of success and a much lower chance of rejection.
We assist thousands of Attendance Allowance applications every year and help ensure a high level of success.
You are well within your rights to ask for professional help with your application. Our benefits advisors help ensure your forms are filled in just right. We help you present your situation honestly and in the right way to help ensure you are awarded the benefits you are entitled to.
We also provide a question and answer service on this website. If you have any questions about Attendance Allowance, or any other benefit, you can ask us your question about benefits here and one of our team will be happy to help.