Over 65, disabled or living with a long term health condition?

The main disability benefit for people aged over 65, often isn’t mentioned as much as it’s close relatives; Personal Independence Payment,(PIP) or Disability Living Allowance,(DLA).

On more than several occasions now I’ve met people who weren’t claiming this benefit despite being entitled to it.

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you.

It’s paid at 2 different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability or health condition.

You could get £57.30 or £85.60 a week to help with personal support if you’re both:

  • physically or mentally disabled
  • aged 65 or over

It doesn’t cover mobility needs like disability benefits for people under 65.

The other benefits you get, such as pension credit, can increase if you get Attendance Allowance.

It’s very important to note, you do NOT, have to have someone caring for you in order to claim. It’s for the help you need whether you get it or not.


You can get Attendance Allowance if you’re 65 or over 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)

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

People living in a nursing or care home

If your care is paid for by your local authority, you can’t usually get Attendance Allowance if you live in a care home but, you can still claim Attendance Allowance if you pay for all your care home costs yourself.


They may decide that you require an assessment, however from experience this is far less likely than other benefits, with reports from your health professionals usually being sufficient.

It is not as invasive or personal as PIP or Universal Credit assesments either and you are entitled to be accompanied by someone if you wish.

If you know someone who may benefit from this you can find out more information by searching Attendance Allowance online. Many agencies such as Citizens Advice Bureau can help you claim.

It’s always worthwhile to claim it even if you aren’t sure. It’s non means tested and won’t affect your other benefits negatively in-fact, it will add to them.

This was just a brief article aimed at helping raise awareness of a lesser known benefit.

Hopefully you find it useful.

Alex @RespectIsVital

You can also find me on Facebook by searching “Universal Credit Sufferer”