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  4. Attendance Allowance (AA)

Attendance Allowance (AA)

If you are deaf or have hearing loss and have State Pension age or over, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance to help cover the cost of any support you need.

[Inset] You can check when you will reach State Pension age on the GOV.UK website.

Attendance Allowance is a welfare benefit for people who have reached State Pension age and need help with personal care or supervision because of a physical or mental disability. 

If you are deaf or have hearing loss, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if you need to help to communicate with other people. This counts as personal care.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t currently get this help, as long as you can show you need it. 

How much you can get

Attendance Allowance is paid weekly at one of two rates – lower or higher – depending on how much help you need.

The weekly rates from April 2020:

  • lower rate: £59.70.
  • higher rate: £89.15.

You may qualify for the lower rate if you need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.

You may qualify for the higher rate if you need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or if you are terminally ill.

Who can claim AA

You can get Attendance Allowance if you’ve reached State Pension age and:

  • you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example hearing loss), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
  • your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety
  • you have needed that help for at least 6 months (unless you’re terminally ill)

 You must also:

  • normally live in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, and not be subject to immigration control (unless you are a sponsored immigrant)
  • have been in Great Britain (or Northern Ireland, if you live there) for at least two out of the last three years – this rule does not apply if you are terminally ill
  • not be subject to immigration control, unless you are a sponsored immigrant.

How to claim Attendance Allowance

You need to fill in the Attendance Allowance claim form, which comes with notes to explain what’s needed.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales

Download the Attendance Allowance claim form from the GOV.UK website or contact the Attendance Allowance helpline to ask for a claim form in the post.

If you live in Northern Ireland

Download the Attendance Allowance claim form at nidirect.gov.uk

Or contact the Disability and Carers Service and ask for an Attendance Allowance claim pack. 

Filling in the form

Remember that the person making the decision on your claim probably won’t know what it’s like to be deaf or have hearing loss, so you’ll need to describe how it affects your daily life. 

If the decision-maker needs to know more about how your hearing loss or deafness affects you, you will need to have an assessment by a healthcare professional.

If you do need an assessment, you will get a letter saying why and where you must go.

How a decision is reached

The decision-maker will review the information provided in your claim form – and your medical assessment if you have one – and make a decision on your claim. They will write to you to explain how the decision was made. 

If you qualify for AA, you will be told which rate you will get and when you will be paid.

If you disagree with the decision

If you disagree with the decision made on your claim, you can challenge it. This is called asking for a mandatory reconsideration. 

To find out more about this process: