If you are over the age of 65 and either mentally or physically disabled, you could receive £55.10 or £83.30 per week to help with personal care. This is known as Attendance Allowance and it is paid at two different rates. The rate that you receive will depend on how much care you need as a result of your disability. If you are eligible to receive attendance allowance, your other benefits can increase as a result.
What you could get:
Attendance Allowance is paid weekly at two different. They are:
Lower rate (£55.10)- Constant supervision/frequent help during the day, or supervision at night.
Higher rate (£82.30)- Supervision or help throughout the day and night, or if you are terminally ill.
You could also get extra Housing Benefit, Pension Credit or Council Tax Reduction if you are eligible to receive Attendance Allowance.
As with all benefits and pensions, Attendance Allowance is paid directly into a bank or building society account.
Changes of circumstances
Certain circumstances can cause you to move between receiving the lower and higher rates of Attendance Allowance. Changes in circumstances could include:
- The amount of help you need or if your condition changes at all.
- You have to go into a hospital or care home for over a month.
- You go abroad for more than 13 weeks.
- You go into prison or are held in detention.
You must also contact HMRC if you wish to change your name, address or bank details. If you wish to stop receiving your benefit or your doctor’s details change, you should also let HMRC know.
If you don’t report changes to HMRC, you could have to pay a £50 civil penalty and you may have to repay any overpaid benefits.
Attendance Allowance Eligibility
You must be over the age of 65 and the following should apply:
- You have a physical disability- this includes sensory disabilities, such as blindness.
- You have a mental disability- this includes learning difficulties.
You must also be in Great Britain when you claim, have been a resident there for at least two of the last three years and not be subject to immigration control. You must also be habitual resident of the UK, Isle of Man, Ireland or the Channel Islands.
If you are eligible, you may have to do an assessment to check your eligibility. You’ll receive a letter explaining why you need one and where you need to go. You will be asked to provide identification at the assessment. This can be in any form, such as a passport, driving licence, bank statements, birth certificate or a life assurance policy.
How to claim Attendance Allowance
You should use form AA1A if you wish to apply for Attendance Allowance through the post. The form will arrive with notes which will help you to fill it in, as well as information on where to send it back to. You’ll also be able to get a claim pack by contacting HMRC over the phone.
Attendance Allowance can be backdated to the date that you claim. This is generally the date that your form is received or the date that you contact HMRC over the phone. As a rule, it takes around 40 working days to deal with your claim, but this can be sped up if you are terminally ill. If you are not expected to live for more than six months, fill out an Attendance Allowance form and get a DS1500 medical condition report- the form is free and can be obtained from your doctor, specialist or consultant- and send it with your application or shortly after. You can also do this on behalf of someone and you don’t need their permission, the letter about the money will not mention the special rules regarding terminal illness.
If you disagree with a decision, you can opt to appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. However, you must ask HMRC for mandatory reconsideration first.
If you are unhappy with the service you have experienced, contact DWP.