Attendance Allowance: Is Attendance Allowance means-tested? Is it taxable?

Attendance Allowance is more important than ever for some people as coronavirus puts more people in financial hardship. All new reviews and reassessments for existing disability benefit claimants have now been suspended. But what is Attendance Allowance and is it taxable?

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance is extra money given to help you with your care needs once you have reached state pension age and have an illness or disability.

The money can be used to meet your needs and stay independent in your home.

Or it can be used on a carer to assist you.


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Who is eligible for Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance is a benefit available for older people.

The benefit is not means-tested and is available to anyone needing care at home or in a care home so long as they meet the criteria for eligibility.

The Attendance Allowance is specifically for:

  • People who meet state pension age who meet the eligibility criteria, which is 65 for men and women, moving to 66 by October 2020.
  • People who could benefit from help with personal care, such as supervision during the day or night or help getting washed or dressed.
  • People who have a physical or mental disability, or both.
  • People who have needed help for at least six months, except for those who are terminally ill and need immediate help.

You are ineligible for Attendance Allowance if:

  • You already receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance.
  • You have not reached pension age.
  • If you live in Scotland and have been diagnosed with dementia as the government offers free personal care and nursing care for people with dementia.

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How much is Attendance Allowance?

As of the 2020/2021 tax year, there are two Attendance Allowance rates of payment.

For those people need help for either day or night you may be entitled to £59.70 a week.

For those people need help for both day and night you may be entitled to £89.15 a week.

The allowance is typically paid every four weeks and does not include any additional amounts for mobility issues, although this will be taken into account when determining eligibility.

Benefits of Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance will not reduce any other income you receive.

The benefit is tax-free and may, in fact, mean you are entitled to other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

It is also possible you may see increases for the aforementioned benefits if you are awarded Attendance Allowance.

Attendance Allowance can be backdated to the date of your claim which is usually the date the form is received or the date you call the enquiry line, so long as the claim pack is returned within six weeks.

How to claim Attendance Allowance

To apply for Attendance Allowance by post, you need to complete this Attendance Allowance form and send it to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance.

You can use the Attendance Allowance helpline to request a copy of the form or alternative forms such as braille, large print or audio CD.

The helpline is contactable on 0800 731 0122.

For those who are terminally ill, you can have access to Attendance Allowance more quickly.

To claim this benefit, you must complete the Attendance Allowance form and ask your doctor or another healthcare official for form DS1500.

You can do this on behalf of someone else without their permission and the letter will make no mention of the special rules.

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