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 are disabled and are 65 or over.
What will I get?
You could get either £55.65 or £83.10 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 November 2017.
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.
Can I get Attendance Allowance?
To get Attendance Allowance you must be 65 or over. You must also 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.
To qualify for Attendance Allowance at the lower rate you need to meet either the daytime conditions or the night-time conditions. To qualify for the higher rate of attendance allowance you need to meet both the daytime and night-time conditions.
To meet the daytime conditions you must need:
- Frequent help throughout the day in connection with your bodily functions, or
- Continual supervision throughout the day to avoid danger to you or others. This doesn’t need to be non-stop supervision, but must be regular checking
To meet the night-time conditions you must need:
- Prolonged (at least 20 minutes) or repeated (at least twice) attention at night in connection with your bodily functions, or
- Another person to be awake at night for a prolonged period (at least 20 minutes) or at frequent intervals to watch over you in order to avoid danger to you or others
Bodily functions mean things like getting dressed, eating, washing, going to the toilet or taking medicine.
How do I claim Attendance Allowance?
You can download a claim form from the Government website.
Alternatively you can get a claim pack by ringing the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055.
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.
What can I do if I’m not happy with the decision?
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 factsheet on the Disability Rights UK website.
Where can I get help with benefits?
Provides a free online benefits calculator and grants search tool to help you find out what financial help you are entitled to.
Helpline: 0808 802 2000
Citizens Advice provides advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. Check the website or your local phonebook for details of your nearest Citizens Advice service.
Telephone advice in England: 0344 111 444
Telephone advice in Wales: 0344 77 20 20
Find your local Citizens Advice in Scotland
Find your local Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland
Disability Information and Advice Line services, run by and for disabled people. They may be able to refer you to someone who can help you fill out claim forms for benefits (provided there is someone in your area).
Helpline: 0808 800 3333 (to find your local group)
This website has lots of information about all the different benefits that are available.
Disability Rights UK
This website has a number of free factsheets you can download. It offers basic information about benefits, tax credits, social care and other disability-related issues for claimants and advisers.
Welfare Rights Unit
Welfare Rights Units give free advice and support on benefits. Some can also help with completing claim forms and appealing benefits decisions. Contact your local council to find out if they have a Welfare Rights Unit. To find your local council visit gov.uk/find-your-local-council
This website has lots of information about the benefits that are available in Northern Ireland.
Offers information, advice, advocacy and representation for people in Northern Ireland.
Helpline: 0800 988 2377
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
- Updated November 2017To be reviewed November 2018