Attendance Allowance

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Attendance Allowance is a non-contributory Social Security benefit paid to disabled people in the United Kingdom.

It was introduced in the National Insurance Act 1970.[1]

A claimant must show that they need help in connection with their bodily functions or need continual supervision. At night supervision would have to involve someone being awake to watch over the claimant. Bodily functions are things that most people would do for themselves, they do not include things like cooking, housework or shopping which many people have done for them. Such help must be needed frequently throughout the day, or during the night the attention required must be prolonged or repeated.


For 2013-14:

  • Higher rate: £79.15 for day and night care, or terminal illness
  • Middle rate: £53 Day or night care


It is for people who are over 65 when they first claim. They must have satisfied the conditions for at least six months before they are entitled unless they are terminally ill - which means not expected to live more than 6 months.

Excluded groups: People under 65. If already claiming Disability Living Allowance before the age of 66 it continues. It is not converted to Attendance Allowance. Claimants must be in Great Britain when they claim - there are some exceptions for members and family members of the Armed Forces. They must have been in the Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years, be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands and not be subject to immigration control (unless a sponsored immigrant)

Payment stops if the claimant goes into hospital or a care home for more than 4 weeks, or goes abroad for more than 13 weeks (or more than 26 weeks to get medical treatment for a condition which began before they left)

Claims cannot be backdated.

Attendance Allowance is disregarded as income, except for people in residential care.


  1. ^ Barendt, Ogus & (1988). The Law of Social Security. London: Butterworths. ISBN 0 406 63370 3. 

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