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It is for people 65 or over, to help you manage independently at home.
Attendance allowance (AA) helps towards the extra cost of living for disabled and frail older people. The weekly allowance is £53.00 or £79.15.
AA can be paid to people aged 65 or over who meet the qualifying conditions. If you are in residential care, you must be paying your own fees. If you got disability living allowance (DLA) before you turned 65, you will continue to get this benefit instead.
You may be entitled if you can answer yes to any one of these questions - do you:
- have difficulties with personal care such as washing, bathing or getting dressed?
- have difficulties seeing or hearing and/or need help with communicating?
- ideally need someone around to keep an eye on you for any reason, such as falls, fits, dizzy spells, or because you have mental health problems?
Many people are missing out on AA because they think it doesn’t apply to them. The benefit is paid for ‘personal care’ needs but you don’t have to be having care provided, or use the money to buy care services.
Some people worry that if they are assessed as ‘not coping’ they may need to go into residential care – but that’s not true. You can be very disabled, live at home, and get attendance allowance to help you manage for yourself.
Many older people find that they are no longer as fit and well as they used to be, without thinking of themselves as disabled. But you may have health problems which mean you cannot manage like you used to. You may have developed ways of coping, by restricting what you try to do, or how long you take to do something.
You can choose how to spend your attendance allowance.
What would help you live independently at home? There are many options. You could use it to pay for:
- the cost of a taxi to take you to your GP or hospital appointments, or into town to do some shopping
- someone to do your shopping or to have it delivered
- a regular cleaner or just some help occasionally
- extra heating
- someone to take your dog for a walk
- odd jobs around the house
- a regular gardener or a one-off garden tidy up
- a new coat or something for the house
- an internet connection and PC or laptop
- getting AA doesn’t mean a carer comes to your house – you can spend the money how you choose
- you can get AA if you live alone, without help from your family
- it doesn’t matter how much you have in savings
- it doesn’t matter if you have earnings or a works pension; when you apply for AA there are no questions about the amount of money you have coming in
- you won’t get less in other benefits – in fact you might get more pension credit, or housing/council tax benefit, because you will be assessed as disabled
- you don’t need to have paid national insurance contributions (stamps)
Tax credits and benefits are changing. But there are no current plans to change attendance allowance.
Find out more about the changes on our benefits changes page.