Pensioners urged to see if they can get £407 a month extra to help them ‘stay independent’

Pensioner sits on sofa with walking stick

Age UK is encouraging people to see if they are entitled to Attendance Allowance

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 15/10/2023

- 07:00

Updated: 15/10/2023

- 09:36

Age UK is encouraging people to check if they or their loved ones could be eligible for Attendance Allowance

Pensioners may be able to get up to £407 a month and it could help them to stay independent, a charity has highlighted.

Attendance Allowance is intended to help with the additional costs people who have a disability severe enough that they need extra help face.

The payment is paid at two different rates, and the amount depends on the level of care a person needs because of their disability.

Crucially, the recipient - who must be physically or mentally disabled and have reached state pension age to qualify - doesn't need to have someone caring for them in order to claim.

Pensioner looks at laptop

People who live in Scotland can sign up to a free online Attendance Allowance workshop


GB News spoke to Age UK, who urged pensioners to look into whether they could apply for the “very useful” payment.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK charity director, said: "If you’re an older person who thinks they need some extra help to stay independent it is well worth applying for Attendance Allowance - please don't be put off by the strange name of this very useful benefit, that pays out weekly for those who qualify.

"Attendance Allowance is there to fund some of the extra costs that come along if you are an older person with some disability.

"For example, if you are successful in your claim you could use Attendance Allowance to help with the extra costs of heating that many disabled people face or meet the cost of a taxi to take you to a hospital appointment, or to visit a friend."

Attendance Allowance applicants need to fill in an Attendance Allowance claim form, which will ask what the claimant can do and what they find more difficult because of their disability or health condition.

Ms Abrahams said that while this may seem "daunting", charities can offer support.

She said: “The Attendance Allowance form can seem be daunting but Age UK offers information on our website.

"Or you can call the Age UK advice line on 0800 678 1602 to find out more. You can also contact your local Age UK for help.”

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People who live in Scotland can sign up to a free online benefits for people over state pension age workshop. There is more information on the Age Scotland website here.

People can ask their local Age UK if they need help in completing the Attendance Allowance claim form. Call the Age UK Advice Line for free on 0800 678 1602 or visit your nearest Age UK. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year.

Attendance Allowance does not need to be spent on a carer if the recipient doesn't want one. Age UK explained "many" people spend the money on other types of help in the home, or equipment to help stay independent.

The benefit is not means-tested or taxable, meaning savings or income won't affect a claim.

If a person was previously unsuccessful in the claim, and their circumstances have changed since the last time they applied, it may still be worth checking if one's entitled - particularly if it was a while ago. Age UK explained: "If your care needs have grown, you may find you’re now eligible."

Some may feel they don't want to claim as they "can get by without it". However, Age UK points out that if someone is eligible to claim Attendance Allowance, then it's money they are entitled to.

The charity added: "Think about what support or equipment might help you to carry on living independently at home for longer."

How much is Attendance Allowance?

The lower rate of Attendance Allowance is currently £68.10 a week, working out at £272.40 every four weeks.

The higher rate of Attendance Allowance is £101.75 a week, or £407 in a four-week month.

Claiming Attendance Allowance could also mean a person gets extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

A man who was able to get the lower rate found he was entitled to around £200 extra a month as getting a small amount of Pension Credit meant he was able to get other forms of support too.

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