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Attendance Allowance (AA)

What is it?

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over state pension age who need help with personal care or supervision because of illness or disability. 

Am I eligible?

You need to have had the illness or disability for at least six months however if you are terminally ill you can apply straight away.

If you are below state pension age you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance, if under 16.

Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability. 

Low rate: £72.65 per week

High rate: £108.55 per week

It does not cover mobility needs.

Who pays it?

Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).

How do I apply?

You can call 0800 731 0122 to request a claim form which will be posted out to you. The date the form is requested is the date the claim starts from, if awarded.

Alternatively, you can download and print the form from the DWP website for you to complete and return to them. The start date of the claim will be from the date the completed form is received by the Attendance Allowance Unit in the post.

Is it National Insurance based?


Is it means-tested?


How long does it last?

Awards can be made for a limited or open-ended period. It stops after four weeks in hospital or a care home.

Please note - this can be cumulative. For example, one week then a break, then two weeks then a break, then one week = 28 days.

It is important to keep track of this as overpayments can result if the DWP are not advised in time.

Any effect on other benefits?

It is a qualifying benefit awarding extra premiums for Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

Is it taxable?


Are there any dependant's additions?

No, however a carer may be able to claim Carer's Allowance (seek advice before claiming this as it can affect the disabled person's benefits).

Is it payable in the European Union?

Specific advice is available from the Overseas Benefits Directorate, 0191 213 5000.

Can I challenge the decision?

You can challenge a decision about Attendance Allowance if you are unhappy with it.

Find out how to challenge a decision.



Page last updated:
25 Apr 2024

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