Attendance Allowance (AA)

Who is it for?
Those aged 65 or over who need care or supervision, or who are terminally ill (see also Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance).

Who pays it?
Pensions, Disability and Carers Service,
Warbreck House,
Warbreck Hill,

Tel: 01253 856 123  or 0845 9000121. 

But claims processing is at a regional Disability Benefits Centre (see DLA).

Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
DS 702 – includes a claim coupon (postage paid) which registers claim and leads to dispatch of self-assessment claim pack or call Benefits Enquiry Line 0800 88 22 00. Can also be claimed online and assistance with completion is available from DWP on 0800 441144 or from local services

What are the age limits
AA is only for those claiming for the first time after 65th birthday. See DLA for all others.

National Insurance based?

Means tested?

How long does it last?
Depends on personal situation for period of initial award but stops after 4 weeks in hospital or care, but not in hospice. People who are self-funding in care homes are also eligible. This includes people who are being temporarily funded by the local authority pending the sale of property.

What is effect on other benefits?
Never counted as income. Increases Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Pension Credit if claimant lives alone (or with another person getting AA) and no-one gets Carers Allowance for looking after them.

Is it taxable?

Increases for dependants?
No, But a carer may be able to get Carers Allowance.
Payable if in EU or other?
Yes, in EU. Generally up to 6 months in others. Check with Overseas Benefits Directorate Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE98 1YX. Tel: 0191 213 5000.

Points to watch
Paid at higher and lower rates. Either rate enables carer to get Carers Allowance. 6 months qualifying period unless terminally ill. People living alone can qualify. Beware of short time limits on challenging decisions. Awards can be superceeded (increased) if health deteriorates or care needs increase (especially at night) but request for a supercession means the whole claim is looked at again so could in theory lead to reduction in benefit.. Proposal to replace existing possibility of 6 weeks backdating (if you get date stamped claim form from DWP) with standard 2 week backdating for all claimants.

You can view details of benefit amounts on the Community Care Inform website

The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform


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