Page created: 3rd June 2021
Many applications for AA are turned down because claimants do not mention or are not clear about how their illnesses or disabilities affect their daily lives.
When filling out an application form for Attendance Allowance it is vital that you do not understate your needs. Age UK has given some very helpful hints and tips for filling out a successful application form.
Please consider the following when sitting down to begin your application:
- Explain the effects of all your disabilities and health conditions, and how they interact with each other.
- Do not leave things out, even if you feel you can manage well enough.
- Describe any accidents or falls you have had.
- List things that you struggle to do unaided, even if you have developed ways to cope.
- If an activity takes you much longer than it would somebody without a disability, or if it is difficult to do safely, then 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. If you need help looking after your appearance, this could add up to six or seven times a day. Include if you need help to check that your clothes are clean after a meal, or help to find a coat and matching shoes etc.
- Give plenty of information in your own words about your personal circumstances. Do not worry if you need to repeat yourself.
- Bear in mind that Attendance Allowance does not usually consider problems with housework, cooking, shopping, and gardening.
Activities and Difficulties
It is important to talk about all the activities and difficulties you need help with during the day and night when filling out your application form. Here are a few examples of activities and difficulties to think about to add to your application:
Washing, bathing, and looking after your appearance – do you need help getting in and out of the bath or shower, adjusting shower controls, shaving, putting on skin creams, or washing or drying your hair?
Going to the toilet – do you need help adjusting your clothes after using the toilet, using the toilet at night, or changing clothes or bedding if you have had an accident?
Help with medical treatment – do you need help identifying your tablets, reading, and understanding instructions about taking medication, managing a condition such as diabetes, recognising if your condition deteriorates, or adjusting your hearing aid?
- Do you need someone to watch over you in case you have a fall or seizure or pass out?
- Do you lack awareness of danger, or could you be a danger to yourself or others?
- Do you get confused, forgetful or disorientated?
- Do you need someone to give you medication for angina or asthma attacks, or to help calm you down during a panic attack?
Getting dressed or undressed– do you need help with fastenings, buttons, and shoelaces, or recognising when your clothes are on inside out?
Mealtimes – do you need help with eating and drinking?
Communicating – do you need help understanding or hearing people, or being understood by them, answering the phone, or dealing with personal correspondence?
Getting around indoors
Do you need help navigating stairs, getting up from a chair, getting in and out of bed, or moving safely from room to room?
Help with taking part in hobbies, interests, and social activities – do you need care or supervision to be able to take part in recreational activities such as swimming, going to the park, attending a religious meeting, or even just listening to music etc.
These activities can be in your home as well as outdoors.
You can see here there is a whole range of activities and difficulties that you may be contending with that requires supervision or attention for you to carry them out safely during the day or night. It is vitally important, that when you are filling out your application form, you explain as much as you can about everything that you are having difficulties with on a daily basis.
The DWP will aim to deal with new applications within 40 working days.
For further information on help with making an Attendance Allowance application, please see this very useful factsheet from Age UK:
Before sending in your application, it is important to gather to gather all your relevant medical evidence. All medical evidence should be considered when applying for Attendance Allowance. Types of evidence can include:
- GP support letters, GP summery care records.
- Hospital appointment letters, or hospital discharge notes etc.
- Consultants and specialist reports.
- Occupational therapy reports.
It is also highly advisable for any other person caring for you, loved ones, a nurse, a carer etc., to fill in the section ‘Statement from someone who knows you’ (page 49). A personal statement from a carer or relative who has first-hand observed how your disabilities affects you on a daily basis can also be added as medical evidence.
A medical examination under Attendance Allowance is not normally needed, although, if a claimant does not supply sufficient medical evidence, the DWP may arrange for a healthcare professional to undertake a medical examination.
In normal times, this would be undertaken in a claimant's home, but due to Covid-19 considerations, you may not wish for someone to attend your home. If this is the case, ask for alternative arrangements to be made via Reasonable Adjustments.
It should be noted, unfortunately, if a claimant refuses an examination, the DWP will decide against the claim.
How to Claim
For further information how to claim your Attendance Allowance (AA), click here.