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An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.

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How to Claim Attendance Allowance

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms

It’s no secret that managing care for the elderly can be complex. There are some benefits available from the government, but it’s not always clear who can claim what. That might be why an astonishing 19 billion pounds of benefit money went unclaimed in 2023.

We want to help. In this post, we’ll discuss one of the benefits available to seniors – Attendance Allowance. This is financial support for an older person who has mental or physical disabilities that mean they need a carer’s help.

Who is eligible for this benefit, and how can you claim it? Read on as we dive into the ins and outs of Attendance Allowance.

Attendance Allowance vs Carer’s Allowance

As we’ve mentioned, Attendance Allowance is specifically for older people whose ongoing disabilities mean they need care from another person.

But if you’ve been following our blog, you might be thinking – is that the same as Carer’s Allowance?

The answer is that both benefits support the wellbeing of a person who requires care. The difference is that Carer’s Allowance goes to the carer, while Attendance Allowance goes to an older person who requires care.

In fact, these two benefits can go together – a carer can become eligible for Carer’s Allowance by caring for someone who claims Attendance Allowance (in addition to meeting other criteria).

To learn more about support for carers, take a look at our full guide to applying for Carer’s Allowance or our tips on balancing work and caring for an elderly parent.

What is Attendance Allowance?

The first thing to know about Attendance Allowance is that it is only for people of State Pension age. So, this is specifically a benefit aimed at older people.

The second thing to know is that there are two rates of Attendance Allowance, corresponding to two different levels of care that a person might need.

The lower level provides £72.65 per week. This is for older people who need “frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night,” per Government guidelines on Attendance Allowance.

The higher level is £108.55. This is for older people who need help at all times during the day and night, or for older people who have been informed by a doctor that they may have 12 months or less to live.

Who is eligible for Attendance Allowance?

So, you know now that Attendance Allowance is only for those who are over State Pension Age and have a mental or physical disability.

There are a few other eligibility requirements. For one, your mental or physical disability or disabilities cannot be brand new. You need to have had them for 6 months or longer.

There are also some requirements relating to immigration and residence. Your main home needs to be in the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You also generally need to have lived in Great Britain for at least two out of the last three years, and you need to be in Great Britain when you complete your application for the benefit. There are also some details about immigration status and some possible exceptions to the residence rules – take a look at the full eligibility criteria for all the details.

How to claim Attendance Allowance

Claiming Attendance Allowance is an old-fashioned but fairly simple process. You can fill out and print a paper form, or you can call 0800 731 0122 to have a form sent to you. You can also call this number for free help with filling out the form.

If you have 12 months or less to live, you can speed up the claims process through “special rules” by asking a medical professional for a form SR1 to include in your application.

Before you fill in the claim form

Before you start completing the form, you’ll want to gather together some relevant information and documents.

This includes:

  • Background information about you and your health – your GP’s name and address, plus your National Insurance number from a payslip or pension letter.
  • Details about your health now – medications you take, medical professionals you’ve consulted in the past year and information about any hospital or care home stays during that time.

Frequently asked questions

Can you claim Attendance Allowance if you’re in a care home?

Maybe. If you bear all the costs of your care home, you can. However, if the council pays for your care home costs, you probably can’t claim Attendance Allowance.

Can you claim Attendance Allowance for someone else?

An older person who needs Attendance Allowance because of advanced dementia would probably be unable to fill in the forms to claim it. In that situation, the forms can be filled in by someone who is legally allowed to make decisions on their behalf.

The two most common ways of having this right to make decisions are by being an attorney for the person through a Lasting Power of Attorney, or by being appointed a deputy by the Court of Protection. Take a look at our blog post on Lasting Powers of Attorney for more details about making decisions for older people who do not have mental capacity to decide for themselves.

Can you claim Attendance Allowance while you’re working?

Yes! This is one area in which Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance are very different. There are no restrictions on working or earning money with Attendance Allowance. With Carer’s Allowance, in contrast, there are limits as to how much paid work a carer can do and how much they can earn.

How SureSafe provides peace of mind to seniors with disabilities

People often think of personal alarms for the elderly as being devices for seniors who live alone. While they are great for this purpose, they are also great as a backup support for older people who have carers.

For example, an elderly person might fall or have a health crisis while their carer is just close by in another room, during the night while their carer is sleeping, or while their carer is out buying groceries. In these situations, a one-touch personal alarm provides reassurance that with the touch of one single button, an older person can call for help immediately. They can even speak to family or a response centre through their talking pendant. Even if an older person is unconscious after a fall and can’t press a button, a fall detection alarm will call for help anyway.

SureSafe’s easy-to-use and affordable alarms offer all these functions and more. If you’d like to chat about how our alarms can help you, we’re here to help! Just give us a call at 0800 112 3201, get in touch through our live chat, or request a call back.

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