These pages are about benefits in the UK. If you are looking for information about benefits in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation
What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is a benefit to help with personal care if you have a disability severe enough to need someone to help look after you. You need to have reached state pension age. Attendance Allowance does not cover mobility needs.
What will I get?
You could get either £60 or £89.60 a week. You get the lower amount if you need help during either the day or night. You get the higher amount if you need help during both the day and night.
These amounts were correct in April 2021.
You don’t have to use the money to pay for care. It is up to you how you use it. But your local authority may take your Attendance Allowance into account when deciding how much money, if any, you need to pay towards any care services you receive.
Attendance Allowance is not affected by any money you earn, or any savings you may have.
Any other benefits you get could increase if you get Attendance Allowance. If you have a carer, they may be able to get Carer’s Allowance.
Can I get Attendance Allowance?
To get Attendance Allowance you must have reached state pension age. You must have had a condition for at least 6 months. And you must have a disability which is severe enough that you need:
- Help caring for yourself, and/or
- Someone to supervise you to keep you or others safe
It doesn’t matter if you are actually getting any care or supervision. What matters is that you need it.
You cannot usually get Attendance Allowance if you live in a care home and your care is paid for by your local authority. You can still claim Attendance Allowance if you pay for all your care home costs yourself.
How do I claim Attendance Allowance?
You can download a claim form from the gov.uk website.
Or you can get a claim pack by ringing the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122.
Filling in the claim form
The claim form asks questions about your ability to carry out activities, and whether or not you need help to do them. With each question, think about whether you might need help to do that activity, even if you don’t get that help at the moment.
Question 32 asks if you fall or stumble because of your illnesses or disabilities. This includes falls because of seizures.
There are also questions on the form about supervision. If you need someone to keep an eye on you because you might have seizures, you can explain this on these sections of the form.
With a variable condition like epilepsy, your condition might not affect you in the same way each day. If this is the case for you, it can help to keep a note over a few days, or weeks, of any tasks you needed help with. Also note down any supervision you needed. You can then refer to this when filling in the form.
What happens next?
After you have returned the claim form, your doctor or other health professional you named on the form might be contacted for more information. Sometimes you might need to have a medical assessment to confirm if you are eligible.
Once the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has made its decision, you will get a letter telling you whether you can get Attendance Allowance, and at what rate. In Northern Ireland, the Disability and Carers Service makes the decision.
What can I do if I’m not happy with the decision?
In England, Scotland or Wales, if you’re not happy with the decision you can ask the DWP to look at your case again. This is called a Mandatory Reconsideration.
If the DWP has looked at your case again, and you are still unhappy with the decision, you can appeal. For more information on appeals and reconsiderations see the appeals and reconsiderations information and links on the Disability Rights UK website. To appeal in Northern Ireland see the nidirect website.
Epilepsy Action has a list of useful organisations for support with benefits.
If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action freephone Helpline on 0808 800 5050.
This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.
- Updated April 2021To be reviewed April 2022