Attendance Allowance is extra money to help with your care needs if you’ve reached pension age and you have an illness or disability. Attendance Allowance isn’t means tested so it doesn’t matter what other money you get. It doesn’t matter how much you have in savings either – there’s no limit. It won’t affect your state pension and you can claim it if you’re still working and earning money. 

If you’re thinking about applying for Attendance Allowance when you reach State Pension age, you might be better off claiming PIP straight away – you might be able to get more money. Read more about claiming PIP 

You should apply for Attendance Allowance if you have a disability or illness and need help or supervision throughout the day or at times during the night (even if you don’t currently get that help): 

  • with your personal care – for example getting dressed, eating or drinking, getting in and out of bed, bathing or showering and going to the toilet 
  • to stay safe 

You should also apply if you have difficulties with personal tasks, for example if they take you a long time, you experience pain or you need physical help, like a chair to lean on. It might help if you compare how you do the personal tasks now to how you used to do them. 

Attendance Allowance isn’t just for people with a physical disability or illness. You should also claim if you need help or supervision throughout the day or night and have: 

  • a mental health condition 
  • learning difficulties 
  • a sensory condition – for example if you’re deaf or blind  

You must have had care or supervision needs because of your disability or illness for at least 6 months before you can get Attendance Allowance. If you’re terminally ill, you can claim Attendance Allowance straight away – you don’t need to wait 6 months. 

You don’t need to have had a diagnosis for your condition to apply for Attendance Allowance. 

You can read further about the eligibility criteria here: Check if you’re entitled to Attendance Allowance (EWS) 


How to claim 

You can either phone for an application form or download a form on GOV.UK.   

It is recommended that you telephone the Attendance Allowance helpline to ask for a form. If you phone for a form your claim will be back-paid to the date of the phone call as long as you return the form within 6 weeks.   

Attendance Allowance helpline: 0800 731 0122 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, calls are free from mobiles and landlines) 

Textphone: 0800 731 0317 

Relay UK – if you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0800 731 0122 

It’s a good idea to keep a diary of your condition for at least a week before you fill in the form – particularly if you have bad days and good days. The diary will help you when you answer questions on the form. You can also send it with the form to support your claim. 


How to claim Attendance Allowance (EWS) § Keeping a diary