Older people with any of these 50 health issues could be due up to £108 each week

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that at the end of November 2023, nearly 1.6 million older people were receiving additional financial support through Attendance Allowance, including over 140,000 living in Scotland.

Attendance Allowance is worth either £72.65 (lower rate) or £108.55 (higher rate) each week and as the benefit is usually paid every four weeks, this amounts to either £290.60 or £434.20 every pay period - some £5,644.60 over the 2024/25 financial year.

How much someone receives depends on the level of support needed and the benefit is designed to help people of State Pension age with daily living expenses which can also help them stay independent in their own home for longer. It’s important to be aware there is no mobility component attached to Attendance Allowance.

Attendance Allowance helps people with a disability, long-term illness and mental or physical health conditions - more than 50 conditions are being supported through the benefit. The most common disabling condition being claimed - an umbrella term used by the DWP - is arthritis, which provides support for 449,077 people across Great Britain, including 41,055 living in Scotland.

Below is everything you need to know about Attendance Allowance including the main health conditions being claimed, eligibility and how to make a claim.

Number of Attendance Allowance claimants - November 2023

  • Scotland - 140,716

  • England - 1,321,779

  • Wales - 103,653

  • Living abroad - 5,323

  • Total - 1,571,519

Health conditions supported by Attendance Allowance

The conditions listed below are sourced from information recorded on the DWP’s Attendance Allowance computer system.

It’s important to note this list is not a checklist for claiming Attendance Allowance, it is intended to help people understand what type of conditions are being supported. However, if you need extra support during the day or night due to a long-term illness, disability or health condition, you should check out the official eligibility guidance on the GOV.UK website here.

Main health conditions providing support to older people across Great Britain

  • Arthritis

  • Spondylosis

  • Back Pain

  • Disease Of The Muscles, Bones or Joints

  • Trauma to Limbs

  • Visual Disorders and Diseases

  • Hearing Disorders

  • Heart Disease

  • Respiratory Disorders and Diseases

  • Asthma

  • Cystic Fibrosis

  • Cerebrovascular Disease

  • Peripheral vascular Disease

  • Epilepsy

  • Neurological Diseases

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Parkinsons Disease

  • Motor Neurone Disease

  • Chronic Pain Syndromes

  • Diabetes Mellitus

  • Metabolic Disease

  • Traumatic Paraplegia/Tetraplegia

  • Major Trauma Other than Traumatic Paraplegia/Tetraplegia

  • Learning Difficulties

  • Psychosis

  • Psychoneurosis

  • Personality Disorder

  • Dementia

  • Behavioural Disorder

  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse

  • Hyperkinetic Syndrome

  • Renal Disorders

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Bowel and Stomach Disease

  • Blood Disorders

  • Haemophilia

  • Multi System Disorders

  • Multiple Allergy Syndrome

  • Skin Disease

  • Malignant Disease

  • Severely Mentally impaired

  • Double Amputee

  • Deaf/Blind

  • Haemodialysis

  • Frailty

  • Total Parenteral Nutrition

  • AIDS

  • Infectious diseases: Viral disease - Coronavirus covid-19

Attendance Allowance is also supporting 44,894 people with a terminal illness.

A man and woman of State Pension age are sitting beside each other looking at their finances
Attendance Allowance provides nearly 1.6 million people with either £72.65 or £108.55 each week. -Credit:Getty Images

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a physical or mental disability or illness severe enough that makes it hard for you to look after yourself - it does not cover mobility needs. You do not need to have someone caring for you in order to make a claim.

Who can claim?

You should apply for Attendance Allowance if you have a disability or illness and need help or supervision throughout the day or at times during the night -even if you don’t currently get that help.

This might include:

  • Help with your personal care - for example getting dressed, eating or drinking, getting in and out of bed, bathing or showering and going to the toilet

  • Help to stay safe

You should also apply if you have difficulties with personal tasks, for example if they take you a long time, you experience pain or you need physical help, like a chair to lean on. Attendance Allowance isn’t just for people with a physical disability or illness.

You should also claim if you need help or supervision throughout the day or night and have:

  • a mental health condition

  • learning difficulties

  • a sensory condition - if you are deaf or visually impaired

How much could I get on Attendance Allowance?

You could receive either £72.65 (lower rate) or £108.55 (higher rate) each week. This amounts to either £290.60 or £434.20 every pay period.

You can spend the money however you like and it could help you stay independent in your own home for longer.

This might include:

  • paying for taxis

  • helping towards bills

  • paying for a cleaner or gardener

Can I claim Attendance Allowance even if I have savings and other income?

Yes. Attendance Allowance isn't means-tested so it doesn't matter what other money you have coming in or how much you have in savings either - there's no limit. it is also tax-free and you will be exempt from the Benefit Cap so you won't have money taken away from any other benefits.

Will Attendance Allowance affect my State Pension?

No, it won't affect your State Pension and you can even claim it if you're still working and earning money.

How does Attendance Allowance affect other benefits?

The other benefits you get might increase if you get Attendance Allowance, these include:

  • Extra Pension Credit

  • Housing Benefit Reduction

  • Council Tax Reduction

How do I make a claim?

You will need to complete a long claim form when you apply for Attendance Allowance. It might seem daunting at first but help is available from Citizens Advice and Independent Age.

Full details of how to get the application form by post or over the phone can be found on the GOV.UK website here.

What happens if I am about to reach State Pension age?

If you are thinking about applying for Attendance Allowance when you reach State Pension age, you might be better off claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) straight away - you may be able to get more money.

Who cannot claim Attendance Allowance?

You won't be able to get Attendance Allowance if you already get PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to pay for your care. If you apply for Attendance Allowance while getting DLA, the DWP will usually reassess your DLA award instead.

You can renew your PIP or DLA when the existing award ends as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria. If your renewal is unsuccessful you can apply for Attendance Allowance instead.

Find out more about Attendance Allowance on the GOV.UK website here.