Do I qualify for Attendance Allowance (AA)?

You may qualify for Attendance Allowance if you have reached state pension age and need help to do things like choosing clothes, reading and replying to mail, walking around safely and taking part in social activities. To make a claim you must also:

  • Live in the UK (this is decided by looking at a number of factors including reasons for coming to the UK, the length of your stay, future intentions, and previous links with the country)
  • Satisfy the past presence test (you must have been present in the UK for 104 out of the previous 156 weeks).

These two rules are complicated and there are some exceptions – if you live in a European Economic Area country, for example – so contact our Helpline if you think you may have difficulty passing these tests.

You do not have to satisfy the past presence test if you have a terminal illness.

Attendance Allowance is not a means-tested benefit, so it doesn't matter how much other income or savings you have. You can get Attendance Allowance even if you live alone and don't have anyone looking after you; it is your need for help that is important.

You can spend any Attendance Allowance you receive however you like. It can be paid on top of other benefits and may even increase the number of other benefits you get.

If you already get Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Adult Disability Payment (Scotland only), you cannot get Attendance Allowance as well.

Please note changes are being planned for Scotland regarding Attendance Allowance in the coming years. AA will be replaced in Scotland by a benefit called “pension age disability payment”, the qualifying rules for this are likely to be very similar to those for the current AA . At present there are no dates announced yet for when applications for this will start.

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