People over State Pension age could get £434 each month for long-term health conditions

Millions of older people receive extra support from the the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Figures from the DWP show that more than 1.5 million pensioners were receiving Attendance Allowance at the end of last August.

This is a rise of 36,061 compare to the previous quarter which ended in May 2023. The non-means tested benefit is worth either £72.65 (lower rate) or £108.55 (higher rate) each week.

As it is usually paid paid every four weeks, this comes to either £290.60 or £434.20 every pay period. It is designed to help people of State Pension age with their daily living expenses so that they can live independently in their homes for longer.

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How much someone receives depends on the level of support needed, Daily Record reports. People with a disability, long-term illness and mental or physical health issues can get help.

The most common disabling condition - an umbrella term used by the DWP - is arthritis. A total of 435,340 people across Great Britain with this condition are being supported.

Conditions which could qualify for Attendance Allowance are recorded on the DWP’s Attendance Allowance computer system. 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 43,295 people with a terminal illness.

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a physical or mental disability or illness severe enough that it is harder 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 can 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. It can also include help to stay safe.

You should also apply if you have difficulties with personal tasks. This could be if tasks 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 can 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.

It could help you stay independent in your own home for longer by paying for taxis, helping towards bills or paying for a gardener or cleaner.

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

Yes. Attendance Allowance is not means-tested so it does not matter if you have cahs coming in or savings. It is also tax-free and you will be exempt from the Benefit Cap so you will not have money taken away from any other benefits.

Will Attendance Allowance affect my State Pension?

No, it does not affect your State Pension and you can claim it if you are 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?

Complete a claim form when you apply for Attendance Allowance. It is long but help is available from your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you prefer to do it yourself you can follow the Citizens Advice guide on how to fill in your claim form here. 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 could get more money.

Who cannot claim Attendance Allowance?

You cannot receive 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.