Attendance Allowance

Eligibility

You can get Attendance Allowance if you’ve reached State Pension age and the following apply:

  • you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
  • your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety
  • you have needed that help for at least 6 months (unless you’re terminally ill)

You must also:

  • be in Great Britain when you claim - there are some exceptions, such as members and family members of the armed forces
  • have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
  • be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • not be subject to immigration control (unless you’re a sponsored immigrant)

There are some exceptions to these conditions if you’re living in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

If you’re terminally ill

If you’re not expected to live for more than 6 months, there are ‘special rules’:

  • there’s no qualifying period for how long you’ve had your illness
  • if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically get the higher rate of Attendance Allowance

If you’re in a care home

You cannot usually get Attendance Allowance if you live in a care home and your care is paid for by your local authority. You can still claim Attendance Allowance if you pay for all your care home costs yourself.

If you need an assessment

You’ll only need to attend an assessment to check your eligibility if it’s unclear how your illness or disability affects you.

If you do need an assessment you’ll get a letter saying why and where you must go. During the assessment, a healthcare professional will need to examine you.

You cannot get Attendance Allowance if you already get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).