What Medical Conditions Qualify For Attendance Allowance

What Medical Conditions Qualify For Attendance Allowance | December 2023

The UK offers the Attendance Allowance benefit to older people who require assistance due to a disability or medical condition. It’s a crucial source of financial assistance for people with mental health conditions and strokes. 

Individuals and their carers can ensure they get the assistance they need by being aware of the specific medical conditions that qualify for Attendance Allowance.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

Understanding Attendance Allowance

The Attendance Allowance is a benefit for older adults with disabilities. In the UK, it is offered by the Department for Work and Pensions; in Scotland, it is provided by Social Security Scotland. 

It is not based on income or savings and is not means-tested. It is based on the individual’s care requirements instead.

People over the state pension age and with disabilities severe enough to require assistance with daily living may be eligible for the allowance. 

It’s significant to remember that the assessment of care needs, not the specific disability, takes place. This means that eligibility is determined by how the condition affects you, not by the situation itself.

Attendance Allowance recipients might discover they are qualified for other benefits like Housing Benefits, Pension Credits, and Council Tax Reductions. Those with disabilities may feel even more relief thanks to these additional supports.

Eligibility Criteria for Attendance Allowance

To qualify for an Attendance Allowance, a person must have reached the state pension age. Additionally, they must be physically disabled (including sensory impairments like blindness), mentally disabled (including learning challenges), or both. 

The disability must be severe enough that the person requires assistance with self-care or supervision to ensure their safety.

The applicant must have required that assistance for at least six months unless they are terminally ill. Special rules apply if a person is terminally ill and not expected to live longer than six months. In these situations, they can obtain Attendance Allowance more quickly.

Attendance Allowance is not just for people with obvious physical or mental disabilities. It is also accessible to people who need supervision to prevent seriously endangering themselves or others. 

For instance, a person with severe mental health issues or learning disabilities may be eligible.

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Physical Health Conditions and Allowance

Physical health issues could make someone eligible for an attendance allowance. Conditions that restrict mobility are included, such as severe arthritis or stroke. But it’s not the illness that permits a person; it’s how much it interferes with their day-to-day activities.

People with severe respiratory conditions who struggle to breathe and need help frequently may also be eligible. 

Similarly, people with chronic heart disease who require assistance with activities like dressing, washing, or cooking because of their condition may qualify for an Attendance Allowance.

It should be noted that Attendance Allowance does not cover mobility needs. If a person needs assistance but is under the state pension age, they may qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Mental Health Conditions and Allowance

If a person needs supervision or assistance with personal care due to a mental health condition, they may also be eligible for an Attendance Allowance. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, severe depression, and anxiety disorders are included in this category.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that supervision is only sometimes necessary. Someone may still be eligible for leadership if their condition worsens and they need it. Not the specific situation, but the fact that assistance or supervision is necessary, is what matters.

Similarly to physical health issues, attendance Regarding the effect on the person’s daily life and mental health conditions must be considered. It concerns whether the individual requires assistance with activities that many of us take for granted, such as dressing, washing, or eating.

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Attendance Allowance

Age-related Conditions for Allowance

Many older people experience health problems simply because they are getting older. These might include arthritis, hearing loss, or vision loss brought on by ageing. These conditions might be eligible for attendance allowance if they call for personal care or supervision assistance.

It’s also important to remember that despite having a condition that interferes with their daily lives, many older people may not perceive themselves as disabled. 

For instance, despite not considering themselves disabled, a person with severe arthritis may still be eligible for an Attendance Allowance because they require assistance with daily tasks.

"The Attendance Allowance is a benefit for older adults with disabilities."

Attendance Allowance for Terminal Illness

Those who have been given the prognosis of a terminal illness may benefit significantly from Attendance Allowance. 

A person may apply for Attendance Allowance under the “special rules” if a medical professional has stated that they do not expect the person to live longer than six months.

The applicant is exempt from the requirement to have needed assistance or supervision for six months when applying under the special rules. The allowance may be given right away. This may offer crucial support during a trying time.

Applying for Attendance Allowance

To apply for an attendance allowance, you must complete a form explaining how your health or disability affects you. The form can be downloaded from the gov—UK website or the Attendance Allowance helpline. 

The application asks about your physical capabilities, including whether you can walk and prepare food and your mental state, if relevant.

It’s essential to consider how your condition affects you as you complete the form. This applies to how it impacts you, not just on typical and bad days—the assistance you currently receive, and the help you would require should be considered.

You can get assistance from Citizens Advice with the form. They can offer helpful guidance on responding to the questions in a way that truly reflects your requirements. It is worth contacting them if you need assistance filling out the form.

Review and Renewal of Attendance Allowance

Every few years after being awarded, the Attendance Allowance is typically reviewed. Your care needs will be examined to see if they have changed. You will receive written notification from the Department for Work and Pensions stating when your allowance will be reviewed.

Informing the Department for Work and Pensions ASAP if your condition worsens before your review date is crucial. 

You might be qualified for a higher rate of attendance allowance if your needs have grown. Please notify them if your needs have changed to prevent you from repaying overpaid benefits.

Keep in mind that the Attendance Allowance is provided to assist you. If you qualify, it can offer vital support for managing your condition. If you believe you are eligible, don’t hesitate to apply and ask for advice.

Eligibility Criteria for Attendance Allowance

Additional Benefits Beyond Attendance Allowance

You might be qualified for additional benefits if you are eligible for the Attendance Allowance. These can offer extra assistance and lessen the financial burden of living with a disability or medical condition.

For instance, you could apply for the Carers Allowance if you care for a disabled person. This is a different benefit meant to help those who devote much time to caring for a disabled person. 

The amount of benefits like Income Support or Pension Credit you can receive may change if you receive the Carers Allowance.

Families with disabled children in Scotland can apply for the Child Disability Payment. It is intended to assist families in managing the additional expenses associated with caring for a disabled child. 

It’s important to note that in Scotland, the Disability Living Allowance has been replaced by the Child Disability Payment.

Different Disability Benefits in the UK

The UK provides a variety of benefits to help those who are disabled. Age UK offers information and advice to help. It can sometimes take time to determine which benefits you are eligible for. 

They can walk you through the various benefits, including Constant Attendance Allowance, Adult Disability Payment, and Pension Age Disability Payment.

The Armed Forces Independence Payment or the War Disablement Pension may be available to you if you served in the military and now suffer from a disability due to that service. 

These benefits are intended to offer veterans who have become disabled due to their service financial support.

Those with limited work capacity in Northern Ireland may qualify for the Employment Support Allowance. This might result from their illness, disability, or medical condition.

Balancing Income and Disability

Your income and tax situation may be affected by receiving a disability benefit like an Attendance Allowance. 

You should inform them if you begin receiving Attendance Allowance while receiving Universal or Tax Credits. This is because the benefits you receive can vary depending on your income.

The best recommendation is to seek guidance from a reliable organisation like Citizens Advice. They can help you navigate the process and ensure you get all the benefits you are entitled to. 

They can also assist you in comprehending how these advantages work together and what you need to do to maintain compliance.

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Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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