Protect Attendance Allowance

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for severely disabled people aged 65 and over, to help with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability.

It is also a vital ‘gateway’ benefit, allowing a person who looks after them to claim Carer’s Allowance.

What are the proposed changes?

The Government is consulting on whether it should transfer responsibility for Attendance Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions to individual local authorities in England.

The Government has said that those currently receiving Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance wouldn’t be affected by any of these changes.


What does Carers UK think?

Attendance Allowance graphicwebWe strongly disagree with the proposal to devolve Attendance Allowance to local authorities. We have a number of concerns about the possible consequences.

Currently, Attendance Allowance is a national entitlement. This means that demand for Attendance Allowance is matched by funding.

Under the new proposals, local authorities could have a fixed budget and local responsibility for funding the demand – which we know is growing with our increasingly ageing population.

We think this local responsibility and freedom over how to use funds could lead to a postcode lottery. Local authorities could be given the freedom to set their own eligibility criteria for Attendance Allowance, while others may choose not to provide a similar payment to Attendance Allowance at all, and/or subject any help to the social care rationing system.

What can I do?

You can help by emailing your MP to tell them why it is important for carers that Attendance Allowance stays as it is.

We have draft text below that you can copy and paste to send to your MP. If you have personal experience of receiving Attendance Allowance or you care for someone who receives Attendance Allowance, make sure you include information about why this issue matters to you.

If you care for someone who receives Attendance Allowance, we would love to hear from you. We are responding to the consultation and by sharing your experiences with us, you can help us make a strong case for Attendance Allowance staying as it is. If you would like to share your experience with us please get in touch at