Attendance Allowance is available to anyone needing care as long as they meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • You're of State Pension age.
  • You have a disability severe enough that you need help caring for yourself or need someone to supervise you. This includes physical disabilities (including sensory disabilities such as blindness) and mental disabilities, such as dementia.
  • You have had the required level of ‘care and supervision’ for six months, unless you are claiming under special rules for the terminally ill.

It isn’t necessary for you to be receiving assistance already. As long as you would benefit from such support, you will meet the criteria.

You can’t get Attendance Allowance if:

  • you already get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) (see below) or Disability Living Allowance
  • you're below State Pension age – instead, you would need to claim PIP
  • you are in a hospital, hospice, care home or nursing home and the cost of your care is paid by NHS Continuing Healthcare.

Attendance Allowance isn’t means tested.

How much is Attendance Allowance?

There are two Attendance Allowance payment rates (2024–25):

  • £72.65 a week for people needing help either day or night
  • £108.55 a week for people needing help both day and night.

You will also receive a £10 Christmas Bonus in December.

Attendance Allowance payments are tax free.

Claiming Attendance Allowance

Here are some key points if you apply for Attendance Allowance.

  • If you become eligible for Attendance Allowance, other benefits might increase. Receiving Attendance Allowance won’t negatively impact on any other benefits you claim.
  • Attendance Allowance payments will stop after 28 days if you stay for longer than 28 days in a hospital or hospice, care home or nursing home that are funded by the NHS or the local authority.
  • If you move to a care home, but pay for it as a self-funder, you can apply for or continue to receive Attendance Allowance, even if you receive NHS-funded Nursing Care. However, if you receive NHS Continuing Healthcare, the payments will stop.
  • If you’re awarded Attendance Allowance and you have a regular carer, they may be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance.

How to apply for Attendance Allowance

You can apply by filling out the AA1 Attendance Allowance application form, available from GOV.UK. 

To get help and information, call the Attendance Allowance helpline: 0800 731 0122 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm).

It can take around 40 working days to process an application. However, payment can be backdated to the date that the claim form was received or the date you called the enquiry line.

Terminal illness: special rules

If you’re applying on behalf of someone with a terminal illness who isn’t expected to live longer than 12 months, there are special rules to ensure they can get Attendance Allowance more quickly. Claims made under these rules should be handled within eight working days.

If applying for ‘special rules’, you must include a SR1 form  with the application. This must be completed by a GP or another healthcare professional.

Find out more

Related pages

  • How to pay for end-of-life care: living with a terminal illness or caring for someone who is terminally ill can be expensive; find out what financial help is available.
  • Your rights and benefits at work: find out what you might be eligible to receive following a diagnosis of an incurable illness, including Statutory Sick Pay and New Style Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Planning ahead: a collection of articles that look at planning and decisions for the end of life, including planning care in advance, making a will and Lasting Power of Attorney.

The EPiC Resource Centre is kindly sponsored by Cleenol: working for a cleaner, safer, kinder world.