The UK Rules
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Attendance Allowance Benefit

Attendance Allowance Eligibility Rules

The tax free scheme is a weekly benefit that could help pay for your personal care. The criteria means being 65 or over with severe mental or physical disabilities.

ELIGIBILITY FOR ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE: AA gets paid at 2 rates.

Attendance Allowance is tax free. But, the amount you get is completely dependent on the level of nursing care required. So, it is your particular disability that determines which rate you get.

There is no benefit means testing to claim the Attendance Allowance. But, it is likely to increase some benefit entitlements that you may already be receiving.

What about those who have special care needs but less than 65 years old? They should qualify to claim the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Note: Having substantial caring needs means your carer may qualify to get the Carer's Allowance benefit. Even so, you can claim Attendance Allowance even if no one actually gives you the care you need and even if you live alone.

The criteria for Attendance Allowance is all about the extent of the disability. The way your physical or mental disablement affects your circumstances determines the rate:

  1. Lower Rates: For those who need frequent help or supervision throughout the day only, or during the night only. It would also apply for those who need someone with them while they are on dialysis.
  2. Higher Rates: Apply for those who need frequent help or supervision throughout the day and during the night.

Criteria for Attendance Allowance

Providing your age is 65 years or older you meet the Attendance Allowance eligibility criteria if any or all the following apply:

The general criteria for Attendance Allowance means your care needs or disability must be severe enough for you to need:

Attendance Allowance Conditions and Assessments

Attendance Allowance rules mean you must also meet some specific conditions:

Note: Exceptions may apply if you are living in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

Attendance Allowance Rules for Assessments

Claimants sometimes get a letter asking them to attend an eligibility assessment. The letter will explain the reason why and where you should attend.

You will need to provide identification at the assessment using your passport. Those without a passport can also use any three of these four specific documents:

  1. Birth certificate
  2. Full driving licence
  3. Life assurance policy
  4. Bank statements

Attendance Allowance Rates 2017 to 2018

Attendance Allowances are benefits paid weekly into your bank or building society account. There are two different rates depending on the level of personal care that you need.

  1. Attendance Allowance Lower Rate £55.65: Requiring frequent help or constant supervision during the day or night.
  2. Attendance Allowance Higher Rate £83.10: Needing help or supervision through the day and night (or terminally ill).

Note: You may also qualify to get extra Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, or Pension Credit.

If Your Circumstances Change

A change in circumstances can affect your benefit payments. This may result in a move between the lower and higher rates. Contact the Attendance Allowance helpline any time your circumstances change or when:

Important Information iconReceiving overpaid benefits means you could get a £50 civil penalty and have to repay the money for not reporting changes.

Attendance Allowance Rules for Terminally Ill Claimants

The special rules apply to those who have a progressive disease and are not expected to live for more than a further six months. In this case, you get Attendance Allowance quicker and there is no need to wait six months to get the higher rate awarded.

Include a DS1500 medical condition report with your Attendance Allowance claim form. You can only get the medical report from a consultant, a doctor, or a specialist.

Providing the claimant satisfies all relevant conditions, you can make a claim for someone under these special rules. That means it can take place without them knowing or without their permission.

They receive a letter confirming the Attendance Allowance award. There is no mention of the special rules getting applied to the case.

How to Claim Attendance Allowance

You can use the online Attendance Allowance Form AA1A and send it by post. There are guidance notes informing you how to fill it in and where to mail it.

Attendance Allowance Helpline
Telephone: 0345 605 6055
Textphone: 0345 604 5312

Next Generation Text (NGT) Relay Service
Dial: 18001 then 0345 605 6055
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Find out about telephone charges in the United Kingdom.

Attendance Allowance Information

The Attendance Allowance benefit can get backdated to the original date of the claim. This is usually the date when they received the form (return the claim pack within 6 weeks).

Note: The medical assessment may be a requirement to complete your application. But, having eligibility for Attendance Allowance does not cover mobility needs.

Appeal a Decision or make a Complaint

If you disagree with a decision you can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. But, there have been some procedural changes. You must now ask for 'mandatory reconsideration' before you can make the appeal.

You can also complain to the Department for Work and Pensions if you feel dissatisfied with the service they have given to you.

Attendance Allowance Eligibility: Criteria for AA Tax Free Benefit Scheme in the United Kingdom