Attendance allowance

Attendance allowance is available to all aged over 65 that need daily help with personal care (washing, dressing or eating) due to an illness or disability.  
To qualify you don’t actually have to be paying for help with care and it is up to you what you spend the money on.
Attendance allowance

Attendance allowance – how much is it and eligibility criteria?

You could get:

  • £57.30 a week if you need help either in the day or at night
  • £85.60 a week if you need help both day and at night

Click here to read the eligibility criteria further.

Attendance allowance – how to apply?

To apply for attendance allowance you need to fill out form AA1A form the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).  To request a form call 0345 605 6055 or download from this link. Once completed the form must be printed, signed and posted (not emailed).  Expect your claim to take around 40 days to process and they should backdate any payment due.  If you are terminally ill, there are special rules to allow your claim to be dealt with more quickly provided you ask for a form DS1500 from your GP or Consultant.

Along with the allowance you may also get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or a Council Tax Reduction – check with the helpline (see below) or office dealing with the benefit.

You will need the following information to complete the form:

  • National Insurance number
  • GP name and surgery’s address
  • Medication details
  • Details of anyone else you have seen in the last year about your illness or disability.
  • If you have one, your hospital record number.
  • Dates of hospital stays with contact details.

Detail how your daily life is affected

Your answers should focus on how your daily life is affected by your health rather than the illness or disability itself – detail all the little daily tasks that you struggle with:

  • Washing: do you need help getting in and out of the bath or shower, washing your hair, or shaving?
  • Going to the toilet: do you need help to go to the toilet? Do you suffer from incontinence or need help changing the bed sheets?
  • Getting dressed or undressed
  • Mealtimes: do you need help with eating, drinking, preparing meals or doing other things in the kitchen?
  • Medical treatment: do need help with medication?
  • Getting around indoors: do you need help to move around your house? Do you have any aids such as a hoist; commode; raised toilet seat; bath rails, shower seat; walking frame; special cutlery etc.
  • Communicating: do you need help to read post? Can you hear the doorbell?
  • Supervision: are you in danger of falling? Do you need someone to watch over you?

Don’t underestimate your needs on the form, detail the help needed on bad days, as well as on good ones.  Describe how other people help you – or could help you.  At the end of the form there is an option for someone who knows your needs to include a statement – doing this will likely help your claim.  You must sign the form yourself unless someone holds a power of attorney for you.

To leaver more about the benefits and entitlements that you may be eligible to receive, we suggest the Age UK website.

John-Joe Cottam


My grandparents Dorothy & Ivan (Gus) Gardiner established Gardiner’s in 1968. Dorothy & Gus were very inclusive and ran Gardiner’s as a family business – my mother, uncle & aunt have all been involved with managing the business.