What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is a financial benefit for people aged 65 and over who have a severe physical or mental illness or disability and need help with personal care or supervision.
If you're deaf or have hearing loss, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if you need help or support to communicate, or if you have care or supervision needs because you have other disabilities.
Attendance Allowance is:
- not means-tested – it doesn’t matter what you earn or how much you have in savings
- non-contributory – you don’t have to have made National Insurance contributions to receive it
- tax free
- based on the help you need, not the help you actually get – you don’t need a carer or someone looking after you to claim
- paid at one of two rates – lower or higher – depending on how much help you need.
How much is Attendance Allowance?
The following weekly rates apply from April 2017
- lower rate £55.10
- higher rate £82.30
You can spend Attendance Allowance as you wish – for example a carer or other types of support or equipment to help you maintain your independence in your home.
What level of hearing loss is needed to be eligible for Attendance Allowance?
It’s difficult to say as the rules are complex. Whether or not you qualify for the benefit will depend on how much your hearing loss affects your daily life – not just what level of loss there is. The decision-maker will take into account:
- the amount and frequency of help you require
- the risks you face that might require supervision
- the degree of difficulty or help you need when walking outside.
How do I qualify for Attendance Allowance?
You'll need to pass some disability tests to see whether you qualify for Attendance Allowance – and, if so, at which rate.
To qualify for lower-rate Attendance Allowance, you must satisfy one of the daytime tests or one of the night-time tests.
To qualify for higher-rate Attendance Allowance, you must satisfy one of the daytime tests and one of the night-time tests, or you must be terminally ill.
The information you provide in your Attendance Allowance claim form may be enough to determine whether you pass at least one of the disability tests. If not, you may need to have a medical report or assessment done.
How do I make a claim for Attendance Allowance?
Download form AA1 online from gov.uk. The form comes with notes telling you how to fill it in and where to send it afterwards.
You can also get a copy of the form from the Attendance Allowance helpline Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, on 0345 605 6055 (telephone) or 0345 604 5312 (textphone). For Next Generation Text (NGT) relay service, dial 18001 then 0345 605 6055, or for the British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service, visit gov.uk
How do I fill in the claim form?
We recommend that you get advice from your local Citizens Advice, or another relevant organisation.
For more information, read our factsheet Attendance Allowance