Attendance Allowance eligibility explained – ‘Do not have to have someone caring for you’

Attendance Allowance: Age UK helps man claim benefit

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Attendance Allowance provides financial support for Britons over the state pension age with a disability severe enough to require help from a third party. Despite the name, people do not actually need to have a carer or attendant when applying for Attendance Allowance, they just need to prove they require this type of care.

There are three main requirements to be eligible for Attendance Allowance, which includes:

  • Having reached state pension age
  • Having a long-term health condition, illness or disability
  • Required frequent help from another person for at least six months. 

However, there is some fine print on these requirements that Britons should be aware of. 

Usually Personal Independence Payments require Britons to be under state pension age, with Attendance Allowance filling the gap once people reach 66. 

There are some cases where indefinite PIP awards may mean people can continue receiving their benefit long after reaching state pension age. 

Both of these benefits require applicants to have a long-term health condition, illness or disability. 

These disabilities do not need to be physical as mental health conditions and difficulties such as deafness or dementia could also make applicants eligible. 

The one requirement that often confuses applicants is the care requirement, as Britons do not necessarily need an actual carer at the time of applying for the benefit. 

Attendance Allowance payments could be used to make adaptations and help recipients stay independent or cover the cost of attendees or carers. 

Independent Age suggests that to claim Britons should need supervision or assistance with daily living tasks. 

This can include: 

  • Getting dressed and undressed
  • Washing and personal hygiene
  • Eating and drinking
  • Taking medication 
  • Getting to or using the toilet
  • Getting in or out of bed
  • Explaining their needs to others or being understood. 

Supervision can include needing someone to check that a person is not being a danger to themselves or others, for example if they get confused or lost, or forget to turn off appliances like the stove.

People must have needed this help for six months before claiming and should generally expect it to be a long-term requirement. 

Additionally, Britons do not necessarily need to have a diagnosis before claiming as the benefit is based purely on their need for help. 

Special rules apply for people with terminal illnesses and for some people on renal dialysis. 

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