HomeFinanceHow to Qualify for Attendance Allowance: Eligibility Criteria Explained

How to Qualify for Attendance Allowance: Eligibility Criteria Explained

Are you or a loved one facing challenges in daily living due to a disability or illness? If so, you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance, a valuable financial benefit that can make a world of difference. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the eligibility criteria for Attendance Allowance and how to qualify for it.

So, whether you’re seeking assistance for yourself or someone close to you, read on to discover how this allowance can provide much-needed support and peace of mind.

What is Attendance Allowance?

attendance allowance

Attendance Allowance is a government benefit designed to provide financial support to individuals who have a disability or illness that requires assistance with everyday activities. Unlike other benefits, Attendance Allowance is not means-tested, meaning it doesn’t take into account your income or savings.

The primary purpose of Attendance Allowance is to help with the extra costs associated with care and support. This can include paying for equipment, hiring caregivers, or covering transportation expenses related to medical appointments.

It’s important to note that Attendance Allowance does not depend on whether you have someone caring for you; it focuses solely on your individual needs and the level of care required. It is available to both those living independently in their own homes and those residing in residential care facilities.

One key aspect of Attendance Allowance is that it doesn’t restrict how you use the funds. You are free to spend it as you see fit in order to meet your specific needs and improve your quality of life.

To be eligible for Attendance Allowance, there are certain criteria that must be met, which we will discuss further in this guide. Understanding these requirements can help determine if you qualify for this valuable benefit and access the financial support you need.

Benefits of Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit provided in the United Kingdom for individuals who have a disability or a severe illness and require assistance with their care needs. Here are some of the benefits of Attendance Allowance:

  1. Financial Support: Attendance Allowance provides financial support to help individuals cover the additional costs associated with their care needs. It is a tax-free benefit that is not means-tested, meaning it is available to people regardless of their income or savings. The benefit is paid at two different rates, depending on the severity of a person’s care needs. The lower rate is £60.00 per week, and the higher rate is £87.60 per week.
  2. Independence and Choice: By receiving Attendance Allowance, individuals have the flexibility to decide how they want to use the funds to meet their care needs. This gives them greater independence and control over their care, allowing them to make decisions based on their preferences and circumstances.
  3. Supportive Care: Attendance Allowance helps individuals access the support they need to maintain their well-being and live as independently as possible. It can be used to hire caregivers, pay for home modifications or adaptations, cover transportation costs, or purchase aids and equipment that facilitate daily activities.
  4. Recognition and Empowerment: The allowance recognizes the challenges individuals face due to their disabilities or illnesses. By providing financial support, it acknowledges the extra care and assistance required and aims to empower individuals to maintain their quality of life.
  5. Eligibility for Other Benefits: Receiving an Attendance Allowance can also make individuals eligible for other benefits, such as a Carer’s Allowance or an increased rate of other benefits that are reliant on disability or care needs.

It’s important to note that eligibility criteria and rates for Attendance Allowance may vary, and it is advisable to check with the relevant government authorities or seek advice from a benefits advisor for accurate and up-to-date information based on your specific circumstances.

How to Qualify for Attendance Allowance?

How to Qualify for Attendance Allowance?

To qualify for Attendance Allowance in the United Kingdom, you must meet the eligibility criteria set by the government. Here are the general requirements:

  1. Age: You must be aged 65 or older to be eligible for Attendance Allowance.
  2. Care Needs: You must have a physical or mental disability or both that requires someone to help you with your personal care needs. This can include tasks such as dressing, bathing, meal preparation, or supervision due to cognitive impairments.
  3. Residence: You must be living in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least two of the last three years.
  4. Duration: Your disability or illness must have lasted, or is expected to last, for at least six months.

It’s important to note that Attendance Allowance is not means-tested, so your income or savings do not affect your eligibility. The focus is on the level of care you need.

To apply for an Attendance Allowance, you will need to complete an application form provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The form will ask for details about your disability or illness, the help you require, and any medical evidence supporting your claim.

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance in the United Kingdom is not based on specific medical conditions. Instead, it focuses on the level of care and assistance required due to a physical or mental disability. The key factor is whether you need help with your personal care needs.

Here are some examples of conditions that may qualify for Attendance Allowance:

  1. Physical Disabilities: This can include conditions such as
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Dementia
  • Hearing impairments
  • Mobility problems
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Visual impairments
  1. Mental Health Conditions: Conditions below require assistance with personal care needs may qualify.
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Severe mental illness
  1. Cognitive Impairments: Conditions that affect memory, decision-making, or understanding can make an individual eligible for Attendance Allowance if they require supervision and assistance with daily tasks.
  2. Chronic Illnesses: Certain chronic illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or terminal illnesses, may lead to eligibility if they impact an individual’s ability to perform personal care activities independently.

It’s important to note that these examples are not an exhaustive list, and eligibility depends on the level of care needed rather than the specific condition itself. Each case is assessed individually based on the individual’s care needs.

How Much is Attendance Allowance in 2023?

How Much is Attendance Allowance in 2023?

The UK government offers Attendance Allowance, a benefit not based on means-testing, for individuals beyond the State Pension age requiring assistance with personal care or supervision due to illness or disability. This aid is intended to offset additional expenses associated with their care needs.

The two rates for Attendance Allowance are as follows:

  • Lower rate: £68.10 per week
  • Higher rate: £101.75 per week

The payment rate is determined by the intensity of the individual’s care requirements. The lower rate is allocated to those needing at least 2 hours of daily assistance with personal care or supervision. Meanwhile, the higher rate is designated for individuals requiring a minimum of 3 hours of daily assistance or those who are terminally ill and need at least 2 hours of daily support.

Attendance Allowance is disbursed every four weeks, with payments made directly into the recipient’s bank account.

How to Claim Attendance Allowance?

To claim Attendance Allowance in the United Kingdom, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Obtain an application form: You can request an application form by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline at 0800 731 0122. Alternatively, you can download the form from the GOV.UK website.
  2. Fill out the application form: Provide accurate and detailed information about your disability or illness, the help you require, and any supporting medical evidence. If you need assistance with filling out the form, you can reach out to a benefits advisor or contact the helpline for guidance.
  3. Submit the application: Once you have completed the application form, you need to send it by post to the address specified on the form. Ensure that you include any supporting documents or medical evidence that may help support your claim.
  4. Await a decision: After submitting your application, it may take some time for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to process your claim. They may contact you or your healthcare professional for further information if needed.
  5. Decision letter: Once a decision has been made, you will receive a letter notifying you of the outcome. If your claim is successful, the letter will outline the amount and frequency of your Attendance Allowance payments. If your claim is unsuccessful, the letter will explain the reasons for the decision and provide information on how to appeal.

It’s worth noting that you can make a claim for Attendance Allowance on behalf of someone else if they are unable to complete the application themselves.

How Long is Attendance Allowance Awarded for?

Attendance Allowance can be awarded for an indefinite period of time as long as the individual continues to meet the eligibility criteria. Unlike some other benefits, Attendance Allowance does not have a specific time limit or end date.

Once you are awarded an Attendance Allowance, it will continue as long as:

  1. Your care needs persist: As long as you continue to require assistance with your personal care needs due to a disability or illness, you can continue to receive Attendance Allowance.
  2. You meet the eligibility criteria: You must still meet the eligibility requirements, such as being aged 65 or older, having a disability that requires help with personal care, and living in the UK.
  3. There are no changes that affect your eligibility: If there are substantial changes in your circumstances, such as an improvement in your health or a change in care needs, it’s important to inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) so they can reassess your eligibility.

It’s important to keep in mind that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may periodically carry out reviews to ensure that individuals receiving Attendance Allowance still meet the eligibility requirements. During these reviews, they may request updated information or a reassessment of your needs.


In conclusion, attending allowance can be a valuable resource for those who need additional support due to a disability or illness. By understanding the eligibility criteria and following these tips, you can increase your chances of qualifying for this financial assistance.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help and guidance from organizations or individuals who specialize in attendance allowance. Remember, everyone deserves access to necessary resources that can improve their quality of life.

FAQ – Attendance Allowance

FAQ - Attendance Allowance

What is the six month rule for Attendance Allowance?

The “6-month rule” for Attendance Allowance refers to the requirement that your disability or illness must have lasted, or is expected to last, for at least six months in order to be eligible for the benefit.

This means that you should have experienced or be expected to experience substantial care needs for a continuous period of at least six months due to your disability or illness. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that Attendance Allowance is targeted towards individuals with long-term care needs rather than temporary conditions.

It’s important to note that the six month rule does not mean you have to wait for six months before making a claim. You can apply for an Attendance Allowance as soon as you meet the other eligibility criteria, even if you haven’t reached the six-month mark yet.

Do you have to pay council tax if you are on Attendance Allowance?

In the United Kingdom, you may be eligible for Council Tax Reduction if you receive Attendance Allowance. Attendance Allowance is a non-means-tested benefit provided to people over the State Pension age who need help with their personal care or supervision because of an illness or disability. The amount of Council Tax Reduction you receive will depend on your circumstances, including your income, savings, and the number of people living in your household.

How long can you go on holiday when on Attendance Allowance?

If you’re currently receiving Attendance Allowance in the UK, you have the flexibility to take a holiday for a maximum of 13 weeks without any impact on your benefit. This rule is applicable to temporary departures from your residence, whether your travels take you within the UK or abroad.

However, it’s crucial to inform the Attendance Allowance team if your absence is expected to exceed four weeks. This notification is essential to ensure the continuous provision of the necessary support you require.

Do you get more Pension Credit if you get an Attendance Allowance?

Yes, if you receive an Attendance Allowance, it can potentially increase the amount of Pension Credit you are entitled to. Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit provided in the United Kingdom to individuals who have reached the state pension age and have a low income.

Attendance Allowance is considered as an extra amount (known as a “premium”) when calculating Pension Credit. The specific premium associated with Attendance Allowance is called the “disability premium.” This premium is added to your overall income when determining your eligibility and entitlement for Pension Credit.


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