Attendance allowance: Is attendance allowance taxable?
Attendance allowance helps older people live independent lives, giving a financial boost to help pay for both day and night care. It is given to older individuals regardless of their financial position or National Insurance contributions.
There are no restrictions on how you can spend your Attendance Allowance, and you do not have to spend it on paying for the care that you need.
However, your council or trust can take Attendance Allowance into account when calculating how much you might need to pay for any care services you receive.
During the current coronavirus pandemic, you will no longer be required to attend any face-to-face meetings for benefits.
But are you eligible for AA? Read on to find out more.
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Who can get Attendance Allowance?
You can claim Attendance Allowance if you meet all the following criteria:
- are over State Pension age
- could benefit from help with personal care, such as getting washed or dressed, or supervision to keep you safe during the day or night
- have any type of disability or illness, including sight or hearing impairments, or mental health issues such as dementia
- have needed help for at least 6 months
If you are terminally ill, you can be paid straight away and do not need to wait six months.
If you are not over the state pension age and need help, you can apply for Personal Independence Payment instead.
How much can I get?
How much you can get depends on whether you need day and night care, or just day care.
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If you need care during the day, you can get the lower rate of £59.70 per week.
If your requirements are more and you require night-time care, you can get the higher rate, which comes to £89.15.
Payments are made every four weeks, or every week if you are terminally ill.
Is Attendance Allowance taxable?
Attendance Allowance is totally tax free, meaning you get the whole amount in your bank account every four weeks.
If you’re awarded Attendance Allowance, you may become entitled to other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, or an increase in these benefits if you’re already receiving them.
It also isn’t means-tested – it only depends on if you need help with day-to-day life – so it doesn’t matter how much income and savings you have.
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How do I claim?
Get a claim form by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 or you can download a claim form from the GOV UK website.
Age UK, a leading charity for improving the lives of older people, advises the following to ensure your claim gets through:
Don’t leave things out, even if you feel you can manage well enough.
Describe any accidents or falls you’ve had.
Explain the effects of all your disabilities and health conditions, and how they interact with each other.
List things that you struggle to do unaided, even if you’ve developed ways to cope.
If an activity takes you much longer than it would somebody without a disability, or if it’s difficult to do safely, include this too.
Say if you need reminding or encouraging to do things, as this also counts as help.
Focus on how frequently you need help. For example, if you need help looking after your appearance, this could add up to six or seven times a day, if you include help to check your clothes are clean after a meal, help to find a coat and matching shoes, and so on.
Give plenty of information in your own words about your personal circumstances. Don’t worry if you need to repeat yourself.
Bear in mind that Attendance Allowance doesn’t usually take into account problems with housework, cooking, shopping and gardening.
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