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Thursday, 3 September 2009

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance, sometimes referred to as AA, is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 or over who need help with personal care because they are physically or mentally disabled.

Who can get Attendance Allowance?

You may get Attendance Allowance if:

  • you have a physical or mental disability, or both
  • your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself
  • you are aged 65 or over when you claim

If you are under age 65, you may be able to get Disability Living Allowance.

Attendance Allowance is not usually affected by any savings or income you may have.

Special Rules - if you are terminally ill

If you have a progressive disease and you are not expected to live for more than another six months there are special rules for claiming to make sure you get your benefit more quickly and easily.

Medical examinations

You will not usually need a medical examination when you claim for Attendance Allowance, but sometimes it is necessary in order to assess how your condition affects you.

How much do you get?

The amount you get depends on how much your disability affects you. There are two rates of Attendance Allowance. 

Attendance Allowance Weekly rate
Higher rate £70.35
Lower rate £47.10

How to claim

Claim straight away - if you delay you may lose benefit.

You can get a claim pack by:

  • phoning the Benefit Enquiry Line
  • downloading the form from this website

You can also claim online.

How it is paid

Attendance Allowance is normally paid directly into any account of your choice which accepts Direct Payment of benefits. This might be a bank, building society or other account provider. 

You may be able to get someone else to collect your Attendance Allowance if you wish. For help with this please contact your bank, building society or other account provider.

If you would like more information about how you can be paid by other means, please contact the office dealing with your claim.

Effect on other benefits and entitlements

If you start to get Attendance Allowance, it might increase the amount of other benefits or credits you are entitled to. You may get an extra amount for severe disability with Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Pension Credit.

Attendance Allowance is normally ignored as income for working out these income-related benefits and credit.

Your circumstances

Changes to your circumstances can affect the amount of Attendance Allowance you get or whether you get it.

To get Attendance Allowance you must also meet certain conditions about your residence and presence.

Attendance Allowance - British Sign Language and subtitled film

A short film about Attendance Allowance - which is presented in British Sign Language, narrated and also subtitled - can be downloaded from Directgov. The information is also available on DVD, which you can request to be sent to you.

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