What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 and over who are severely disabled and need help with personal care or supervision. People under 65 with personal care needs may be able to claim (DLA). Attendance Allowance can be paid as well as Retirement Pension or other state benefits and it does not matter if you have savings or other income. In fact, receiving Attendance Allowance may increase your entitlement to other benefits such as Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, Disability Living Allowance.
Attendance Allowance is paid at two rates: You can be awarded either the lower or higher rate depending on how much help you need. You do not need to have someone helping you at home to receive the benefit.
What is personal care?
You may find it difficult to look after yourself on a daily basis, or struggle to complete tasks such as those listed below:
- you have difficulty with washing/bathing, dressing/undressing, using the toilet, eating, using stairs, getting in/out of bed, or taking medication
- due to sight or hearing impairments you require help to go out, communicate with people, deal with your mail, pay your bills
- you have to undergo renal dialysis on a regular basis and need someone to help with this
What is supervision?
Examples of this could be:
- you need someone close by to avoid the risk of accidents or to alert you to danger because you are unsteady or you have panic attacks, fits, dizzy spells, or seizures
- you may need someone to encourage or prompt you to look after yourself as you may have spells of confusion or depression and find motivation difficult.
However, this list does not cover everything and if you need help with other things you may be entitled to claim.
What if I have a terminal illness?
Attendance Allowance claims for people who are terminally ill should be decided urgently. These claims have Special Rules. The same claim pack is used but you also have to provide a statement from your doctor, called a DS1500 report, confirming that you have a terminal illness. Benefit should be paid straight away at the higher rate.
How do I claim?
The Attendance Allowance claim form DS2A is available from your local Disability Benefits Centre or your local social work office. The form is in two parts. It is quite lengthy but the questions are straightforward. If you wish someone to help you with the form make an appointment at your local social work office. It would be helpful if you could complete as much of the form as possible, particularly your personal details, before your appointment.
Who makes the decision?
The Disability Benefits Centre in Glasgow will make decisions on your claim. It is not a doctor who decides whether you should get benefit or not, therefore, it is important you give as much information about the help you need as possible.
What if I am unsatisfied with the decision?
If you are refused benefit or think it should have been paid at a higher rate you can write asking for a revision within one month from the date on the decision. If you are still unsatisfied once the revision has taken place you can ask, again in writing and within one month of the revision, to have your case heard by an appeal tribunal. Your local social work office can help you to ask for revisions or appeals. The Decision-Maker may wish to ask for further medical information by sending a short report to your GP, or they may send a doctor out to discuss your medical conditions.
What if my circumstances change?
If you feel your health has deteriorated, or you have another condition which means you need more help, you can ask for your benefit to be revised. When you ask for a revision the Decision-Maker can reconsider the whole claim. You should always seek advice from your local welfare rights adviser before requesting a revision. If you would like advice on how to claim Attendance Allowance make an appointment with your local social work office. You can help us by completing your personal details and as much of the form as you can before this appointment. If you have already claimed benefit and would like to ask for a revision or appeal contact your local social work office and a member of staff there will advise you.
If you have any questions about benefits, a GAIN Welfare Rights Adviser can help you. Click here to find your nearest GAIN agency or call the GAIN Helpline on 0808 801 1011 Mon- Fri 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Calls are free from land-lines and some mobile numbers.
Glasgow City Council Social Work Services