Who can claim?
For Retirement Pension Age 65+ depending on pension age. To check your entitlement for State Pension, visit GOV.UK – State Pension age
Basic qualifying period, care or support needs for six months. However, the claim can be made in that 6 months period. Some exceptions to the qualifying period rule.
Does not consider domestic duties e.g. housework, shopping, gardening. However if a bodily function impacts your ability to undertake activities detailed on the form and help is required, even if nobody gives you any help, it is considered.
Things to consider
The questions on the form consider not whether you manage a task but if there is difficulty performing a task.
Explain the difficulties e.g. through:
- Pain/severe discomfort
- Time taken (time consuming)
- Weakness/coordination/dexterity problems
- Sensory impairment
The activities the form asks about are difficulties during the day:
- Getting in/out of bed (e.g. into bed at bedtime and out of bed in the morning)
- Toilet needs
- Washing/bathing/showering and looking after your appearance (includes e.g. shaving, brushing hair etc.)
- Dressing and undressing
- Moving around indoors, walking/using stairs/ getting in and out chairs and transferring to wheelchairs (not just your home, in shops or elsewhere)
- Stumbles/Falls and manner of mobilising
- Eating/drinking and cutting up food
- Taking medications/treatment
- Communication/understanding and remembering/using phone/dealing with mail and completing forms
- Risk and safety
Night time difficulties:
- Sleeping comfortably/turning in bed/toileting and medication (during the night)
- Risk and safety during the night
You will need the following information for the claim form:
- You will be asked about any health professionals you see/have seen and when you saw them.
- What health conditions you have and all medications/treatments you receive for these health conditions.
- It also asks about tests you have had and the results (if you know them) and if you are on a waiting list for surgery.
- Finally any aids/adaptations you have eg. hearing aid/magnifier, hand rails/grab rails/ double bannister, wet room, shower stool/perch stool, walking stick/rollator/wheelchair, community alarm etc.
For more information on Attendance Allowance, visit Age UK – Attendance Allowance
Tips to help with the Attendance Allowance claim form
- Don’t leave things out, even if you feel you can manage well enough.
- Describe any accidents or falls you’ve had.
- Explain the effects of all your disabilities and health conditions, and how they interact with each other.
- List things that you struggle to do unaided, even if you’ve developed ways to cope.
- If an activity takes you much longer than it would somebody without a disability, or if it’s difficult to do safely, include this too.
- Say if you need reminding or encouraging to do things, as this also counts as help.
- Focus on how frequently you need help. For example, if you need help looking after your appearance, this could add up to six or seven times a day, if you include help to check your clothes are clean after a meal, help to find a coat and matching shoes, and so on.
- Give plenty of information in your own words about your personal circumstances. Don’t worry if you need to repeat yourself.
Levels of benefit
There are 2 rates-higher and lower
High rate is assessed where help is needed during the day and at night.
Low rate assessed where help is needed only during the day or only at night.
How to claim
How to get an application form
- Order the form by telephone-0800 731 0122 it will be date stamped and give you a date to return it by and should include a reply envelope.
Or if you or a relative have internet access and printer go to GOV.UK – Attendance Allowance
- Download the form, fill it in on the screen and print the form
- Or print the form and fill it in by pen.
If you don’t agree with the award decision
If you don’t agree with the award decision you must first ask for a mandatory reconsideration where they look again at the decision. This should be done within a month of the date on your decision letter. You can send in more information or new support letters from professionals who know about your difficulties. If the result still isn’t in your favour you can request an appeal which is sent to the tribunal service. This should be done within a month of the date on the mandatory reconsideration decision letter.
You can lose or gain at the appeal, as they look at the whole decision again. Seek advice.
If you ask for a review as your health has changed you can lose or gain when you get a review of your entitlement, as they look at the whole decision again. Seek advice.