The tax free scheme is a weekly benefit that could help pay for your personal care. You may qualify if you have reached State Pension age and you have severe mental or physical disabilities.
Attendance Allowance benefit is paid at two rates (higher and lower). As a result, it is your particular disability that will determine which rate you can get.
Even though Attendance Allowance is tax free, the amount you get is completely dependent on the level of nursing care you require.
People less than State Pension age with special care needs should qualify to claim the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.
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:
Providing you have reached the State Pension age, you will meet the Attendance Allowance eligibility criteria if any or all the following apply to your circumstances:
The general criteria for Attendance Allowance means your care needs or disability must be severe enough for you to need:
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.
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:
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.
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:
Receiving overpaid benefits means you could get a £50 civil penalty and have to repay the money for not reporting changes.
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.
As a rule, you cannot get Attendance Allowance if you live in a care home. This is because the local authority usually pays for the care you receive. But, paying for all your care home costs yourself means you can claim Attendance Allowance.
Download the online Attendance Allowance Form AA1 and send it to 'Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance'. There are guidance notes informing you how to fill it in. Send the completed form to:
Attendance Allowance Helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0122
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
Monday to Friday: 8am to 3:30pm
Relay UK: 18001 then 0800 731 0122
Check UK telephone charges.
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.
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.
Note: The short video presented by 'dwpsign' explains more about what Attendance Allowance benefit is and who can make a claim for the payments.
Attendance Allowance Eligibility Criteria in United Kingdom