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Attendance Allowance (AA)

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

What Attendance Allowance is

Attendance Allowance is a weekly payment to help with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to look after you.

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.

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

The benefit is paid at 2 different rates: lower and higher. The rate you get depends on how much help you need.

Find out what the current rates of Attendance Allowance are (GOV.UK)

Who can claim

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 2 out of the last 3 years – this rule does not apply if you are terminally ill
  • not be subject to immigration control, unless you are a sponsored immigrant.

If you’re unsure, you can check the age that you can claim your State Pension at GOV.UK

How to claim

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 GOV.UK 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.

If you have accessibility needs

By law, government departments must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people and their representatives, to allow them to have equal access to their services and to claim benefits.

This means that if part of the claims process is not accessible for you, you can ask for changes to be made – for example, a different way to apply for the benefit.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can call the Attendance Allowance helpline to ask for:

  • a copy of the Attendance Allowance claim form
  • the claim form in alternative formats such as braille, large print or audio CD.

The Attendance Allowance helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm:

Telephone
0800 731 0122
Textphone
0800 731 0317
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone)
18001 then 0800 731 0122
BSL video relay service (for use with a computer)
Contact the service

If you want to use the BSL video relay service on your mobile or tablet, there’s information on how to do this on YouTube

Find out more about how to get help with benefits if you have accessibility needs (GOV.UK)

If you live in Northern Ireland and need a claim form in an alternative format, or you need other support to make a claim, contact the Disability and Carers Service


If you need help with benefits

Find out what benefits you’re entitled to

To find out which benefits you can claim, use the online Turn2us benefits calculator.

Get support in British Sign Language (BSL)

To get benefits advice or support in British Sign Language (BSL), contact the deafPLUS Advice Line They also have an online service to help you find local benefits advisors.

Get in touch

We’re unable to provide benefits advice at RNID, but we’ll let you know where to get the information and support you need. Contact us

Page last updated: 8 March 2024

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