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To apply for Attendance Allowance you will need to complete the relevant claim form.
An application pack can be obtained by telephoning the Disability and Carers Service on 028 90 906 178.
The claim form is date-stamped and must be completed and returned within 6 weeks from the date of request. If a claim is successful it will be paid from the date on the form if returned within the 6 week period but, if outside the 6 week period, it will be paid from the date the completed form is received.
Alternatively, you can have the form filled in for you over the phone. The completed form will then be sent to you to check and sign.
Do it online
The claim form can also be downloaded (PDF 879KB) from the NI Direct website
When making a claim it is advisable that you:
- Have your National Insurance number ready
- Keep a copy of your claim form
- Seek help to complete the form, for example, from advice agencies such as Age NI
- Should contact specialist organisations such as Action on Hearing Loss (formerly Royal National Institute for the Deaf) or Royal National Institute for the Blind if you have sight difficulties
- Leave plenty of time to complete the form as it can be lengthy and time consuming
- Keep a diary prior to completing the form detailing times (day and night) when attention and/or supervision is needed.
- Write down symptoms experienced and how this affects your ability to carry out everyday tasks
- Think about bad days as well as good days. You should concentrate on the most negative aspects of their illness or disability and be realistic about their needs
- Mention how your condition affects you socially
- Do not underestimate the help you need
- Give as much detail as possible
Possible Medical Examination
If a claim cannot be decided from the information on a form, you may receive a phone call for further information or this information may be sought from your doctor.
In some cases you may be asked to undergo a medical examination. In this case an appointed doctor will visit you in yourr home. It is advisable to have a friend or relative with you for this and to make a note of things beforehand that you need to tell the doctor.
Visit NI Direct for details about how to prepare for this medical assessment.
Attendance Allowance claims are awarded indefinitely or for fixed periods. If the award is for a fixed period, near the end of the fixed period (usually 4 months before), you will be sent a form to complete for renewal. If this form is not completed the award will stop.
It is important that the form is sent back before the old award expires as no backdating is possible.
If your Attendance Allowance award has ended and you reclaim the same rate within two years, you do not have to serve the standard six-month qualifying period again. However, if you reclaim at a higher rate, you will have to serve the qualifying period.
Attendance Allowance Payments
Attendance Allowance is usually paid every 4 week in arrears into a bank, building society or post office account. However, those who are terminally ill can receive weekly payments in advance.
Attendance Allowance could entitle you to other benefits such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Rates Rebate as these benefits can be higher for those receiving a disability benefit.
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