What to collect before filling in the form
Gather together these pieces of information relating to the person applying for Attendance Allowance:
- National Insurance number
- GP name and the surgery’s address
- details of medication
- details of anyone consulted about illness or disability in the past 12 months, apart from a GP
- hospital record number (if there is one)
- name, address and dates of stay in a hospital, care home or similar place.
What you should make a note of in advance
If you plan to apply for Attendance Allowance for yourself, there are a number of things to take into account before you start.
Attendance Allowance is not based on what illnesses or disabilities you have, but on how your daily life is affected by your health.
To make sure you capture everything that could support your application, it can be useful to talk about aspects of your daily life with someone who cares for you and record your ideas.
It helps to keep a diary for a few days before completing the form, so you don’t forget any tasks that you need help with.
It’s very important that you give details of everything you struggle with. Think about all the little daily tasks that you might have difficulty with:
- getting up from the toilet
- preparing food
- getting dressed
- getting around indoors; or taking a bath safely.
Give as much detail as you can in each section, with examples. Don’t worry about repeating yourself. It’s better to say something twice than not at all.
Top ten tips for filling in the form
Once you’ve collected all of the relevant information, there are a number of other things to keep in mind.
If you fill in the online version of the form, you’ll also need to open the printable claim form from gov.uk as the notes for filling it in are provided on this version. The notes can be printed separately if that helps.
Attendance Allowance packs are available in large print or braille. Interpreters can also be organised. For help with these matters, call the Attendance Allowance helpline. If you have speech or hearing difficulties, you can contact the Attendance Allowance Service Centre.
Don’t worry about making a mistake on the form. It’s OK to cross something out.
When completing the form, don’t underestimate your needs. Be realistic and note the amount of help needed on bad days, as well as on good ones. Things to think about when completing a claim form include the following aspects of day-to-day living.
- Washing: do you need help getting into and out of the bath or shower, washing your hair or shaving?
- Going to the toilet: do you need help going to the toilet during the day or night? Do you suffer from incontinence? Might you need help with changing beds?
- Getting dressed or undressed: do you need help with this?
- Mealtimes: do you need any help with eating or drinking? Do you have difficulty operating the oven, opening cans or doing other things in the kitchen?
- Medical treatment: do you understand which medication to take and when? Can you operate medical devices (such as a hearing aid) or safely manage any illnesses (such as diabetes) by yourself?
- Getting around indoors: do you need help navigating stairs, moving from room to room, getting in and out of chairs or bed? Aids and adaptations to list include using a hoist, bed-raiser or monkey pole (a support pole to help you lift yourself into a sitting position); a commode or raised toilet seat; bath rails, shower seat or a hoist to help bath or shower; a walking stick, walking frame or crutches; special cutlery or a feeding cup to help with eating and drinking.
- Communicating: if you have poor eyesight, do you need help reading your post? If you’re deaf, do you need help communicating? Can you hear the doorbell?
- Supervision: are you in danger of falling? Do you need someone to watch over you in case you have a seizure or a fall? Do you become confused easily and do you feel you might be in danger if no one is there to support you?
Give as much detail as you can in each section, together with examples. Don’t worry about repeating yourself. It’s also important to describe how another person helps you – or could help you. That is a key reason to qualify for Attendance Allowance.
You or your loved one may be asked to give your consent for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to contact your GP, or the people or organisations involved with looking after you. This would be to get a clear understanding of your needs. While you don’t have to agree to this, it might result in the benefit not being made available if you don’t.
Towards the end of the form there is the option to include a statement from someone who knows you and your needs. It’s worth asking someone to do this as it helps reinforce your case. It could be a friend, another relative or a professional person, such as a doctor or nurse. If that person understands the rules of the allowance, it will be even better, as they will know what relevant information to include.
You must sign the form yourself, so if someone has been helping you to fill in the form, you should read it through before signing. The exceptions to this rule include if the person filling in the form holds a Power of Attorney in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland for you, or there are other reasons you can’t sign, such as a mental-health problem. The form explains what needs to be done in these circumstances.
Don’t email the completed form as it won’t be accepted. You’ll need to post it.
Once the application has been received, you might also be asked to attend a medical assessment to check your eligibility, which can be at your home if getting to the assessment is difficult for you. At the assessment, you’ll need to provide identification, which could be a:
- birth certificate
- full driving licence
- life assurance policy or
- bank statement.
If possible, take someone who cares for you, such as a family member or friend, to the meeting in case anything isn’t clear.
If you want further help with completing the form, call the Attendance Allowance helpline.
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