Attendance Allowance – Extra Money to Help You
As we age many of us need a little extra support with daily living or self-care, particularly if we are affected by physical frailty, physical or mental ill health or long-term disability. If you do need any support to stay safe and well then you may be entitled to attendance allowance. Here we explain who is eligible, how much attendance allowance is currently worth and how to apply.
Who is eligible?
Eligibility for Attendance Allowance is based wholly on what help you need. It is not based on the help you actually get, nor is it means-tested i.e. your income and savings are not taken into account. You may be eligible for Attendence Allowance if:
- You are 65 or over
- You have any type of disability or illness
- You would benefit from support with personal care (e.g. getting washed and dressed, continence care, support with medication) or supervision to help you to stay safe day or night
- You have required support for at least 6 months (unless you are terminally ill, in which case you are able to make a claim immediately).
If you are eligible to receive Attendance Allowance you can spend it on care services or other adjustments to enable you to maintain your independance at home. However, there are no restrictions on how you use your Attendance Allowance, if you are eligible you are entitled to spend the money on whatever you choose.
How much is Attendance Allowance?
The following rates are applicable from April 2015-April 2016. After April 2016 you can find out current rates by ringing the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055 or textphone 0845 604 5312 or by going to www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance.
£55.10 per week if you need help during the day OR at night
£82.30 per week if you need help during the day AND at night
How do I apply for Attendance Allowance?
You can download a claim form from www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance or by ringing the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055. If you require help completing the form your local Age UK or Citizen’s Advice service will assist you. You can also contact Age UK for advice on 0800 169 65 65.
When completing the form, think about all the tasks you can’t do or have trouble with or the risks to your safety caused by your ill health or disability. Don’t leave things out, even if you think you can make do.
Include as much information as possible about your ill-health, disability or sensory impairment e.g. if your sight or hearing are impaired. Explain the impact of all of your conditions and how they interact with each other.
Applications are commonly turned down because applicants are not clear enough about the impact of their ill-health or disability on their daily lives. Although it seems instinctive to play down any frailities we may have and think about our abilities on our good days, it is important that you do not underestimate your needs. If you have fluctuating needs or good days and bad days, it is important to accurately describe the help you require on a bad day.
Assessment of your needs will predominantly focus on any support you need with personal care or remaining safe, it will not usually take into account help you require with domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning or shopping.
Be clear on how often you need help. To qualify for the lower rate of attendance allowance you need to show that you need help frequently during the day e.g. if sight is impaired you may need help frequently to locate items, to check personal appearance or to get around safelyor if memory is impaired you may need help frequently to remind you of personal care tasks that need completing e.g. taking medication, preapring meals, getting washed or dressed, attending appointments.
Specify ALL tasks that you struggle with even if you have developed special strategies to cope. If an activity either takes longer than it would do for someone without your condition to complete, or it is difficult for you to do it safely then this should be taken into consideration. If you require prompting or reminding to complete tasks then this counts as required assistance.
Give plenty of information and be very clear about your personal circumstances and how your ill health or disability impacts on your daily life. Don’t worry about repeating yourself and do not play down your needs. Consider whether you need assistance with one or more of the following and make this clear in your application:
- Washing and Dressing – including getting in and out of the bath or shower, washing your body or hair, dressing including fastenings and dressing appropriately
- Continence Care including getting to and from the toilet safely
- Assistance with eating or drinking
- Communication – including making yourself understood, managing correspondence or answering the telephone.
- Medical Care – including managing daily medications, help with a daily management of a condition such as diabetes or recognising any deterioration in your condition, help adjusting hearing aids.
- Safety – do you need someone with you because you are at risk of falls through mobility impairment or seizures, do you need someone with you in case you need medication in an emergency or do you sometimes lack awareness or can be confused about what is dangerous to yourself or others e.g. through memory impairment or disorientation.
If you have any questions about attendance allowance or accessing additional support or care then please give us a call on 0115 945 5639 or email firstname.lastname@example.org