Attendance Allowance (AA) provides a non-contributory, non-means-tested and tax-free contribution towards the disability-related extra costs of severely disabled people who are aged 65 and over when they claim help with those costs. It can be awarded for a fixed or an indefinite period.
To qualify, people must have needed help with personal care (i.e. attention in connection with their bodily functions and/or continual supervision to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others) for at least 6 months (the ‘qualifying period’).
The allowance is paid at two rates:
Higher rate - for people who need help with personal care throughout the day and during the night;
Lower rate - for people who need help with personal care throughout the day or during the night.
People who are terminally ill (i.e. have a progressive disease from which death can reasonable be expected within 6 months) automatically qualify for the higher rate. They do not have to satisfy the qualifying period.
Totals show both the number of people in receipt of an allowance and those with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
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