An older man is sitting at a desk with paperwork and using a calculator.

Over pension age? Are you missing out on Attendance Allowance?

New research by Policy in Practice finds that more than 1.1 million pension age households could be missing out on £5.2 billion of Attendance Allowance each year.

Attendance Allowance is extra money for anyone over pension age who has a long-term physical or mental condition or disability. It doesn’t matter what your condition is – what matters is how it affects you.

An award of Attendance Allowance can be worth up to £5,306 per year. However, the overall financial benefit to a person awarded Attendance Allowance may be significantly higher because it acts as a passport to additional sources of support and to an increase in other benefits that the applicant may already be receiving.

About Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is the main benefit for people of pension age who need support with daily living. You do not have to be actually receiving support from a family member or carer to be eligible.

Attendance Allowance isn’t means tested.

You may qualify for Attendance Allowance if you:

  • are over State Pension age. You can find out your State Pension age on
  • have a physical or mental health condition or disability
  • have had this condition for at least six months. You can claim whether or not you actually receive this help or supervision.

Your care needs could include needing help with things like:

  • washing and bathing
  • dressing and undressing
  • eating and drinking
  • getting in or out of a chair
  • getting in and out of bed
  • taking medication or having treatment
  • communicating
  • walking.

How you can spend your Attendance Allowance

You can spend your Attendance Allowance however you like – it’s up to you. Lots of people spend it on something that makes life a bit easier, for example:

  • paying for taxis
  • helping towards bills
  • paying for a cleaner or gardener.

If your circumstances change, the amount you get from Attendance Allowance may go up or down.

If you think you may be eligible, you are advised to make a phone claim as soon as possible as claims can be backdated from the date of application.  Call the Attendance Allowance helpline on telephone 0800 731 0122 or textphone 0800 731 0317.