Attendance Allowance is a benefit for older people (over 65) who may need extra help to stay independent at home, due to an illness or disability. Dementia is a disability under the Equality Act of 2010. The problem is that the form is very lengthy and complex to fill in. If you are considering applying for someone you know then I would suggest that you enlist the help of a professional organisation such as Age UK or Citizens Advice.
How does Attendance Allowance work?
- It is tax free.
- No other income will be reduced.
- It is not means tested.
- You are free to spend it as you wish to meet your needs.
- If you receive Attendance Allowance it could make you eligible for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Pension Credit. If you are already getting any of these the amount may be increased.
Do not delay in applying as the start date of your Attendance Allowance is the marker.
Day and/or night
The amount you receive every 4 weeks could be:
£55.65 a week if you need help either during the day or night
£83.10 a week if you need help during the day and night
(April 17-18 figures)
My own experience
I found it really helpful to know that the form should be filled in as if you are the person claiming. Without advice I would not have thought of claiming for help during the night as my mother lived in a one bedroom flat and could not have anyone live with her. In fact help needed during the night refers to the need to seek help from someone, even if they are not living with you.
If the person can sign the form they can have help completing it. If the person is unable to sign the form you must have the legal right to do it for them. I cannot stress too much how important it is to get a valid Lasting Power of Attorney in place as soon as possible. Once the person has lost capacity it will not be possible to create one.
I would like to share three sections from my successful application in 2006. Help needed during the day, Help needed during the night and Statement from the person who knows best about you and about how your illness or disabilities affect you. This document was given to the two care homes my mother attended in order to give them some idea of her abilities. Both care homes felt it was very intuitive and used it to provide dementia insight training for their staff.
Please remember that every person who has dementia will have it in their own unique way. This document has copyright – do not use or share without my prior consent. I hope you will benefit from the insight it provides.
If you have any comments or would like to tell us your experiences please contact us