Attendance allowance

Hello, I have just joined the forum, hoping to learn from and share with others.  My mother has Parkinson's. I am sure I will have other topics as time goes on. For now I have been looking into what financial and other assistance she might be eligible for. I would be interested to hear if anyone has had experience of successfully applying for attendance allowance, where they or the person they applied for doesn't have a carer. I thought from reading the guidelines it was one of the eligibility criteria, but apparently not. Shes not yet at the stage of needing a carer, but definitely could do with a few things /help to make life easier, and financial help to do this. 

Hi Sun-light,

It doesn’t sound like your mother qualifies for Attendance Allowance, if she doesn’t require care at the moment. If you look at eligibility, you get a broad idea on the criteria:

If she needs help dressing, and needs supervision or help preparing food for safety reasons, then you might just have a chance. Otherwise don’t bother.

if she is on low income, grants are available to help with adapting bathrooms, or fitting stairlifts. This is through the local council, so it’s a bit of a lottery these days.

Hi Mike, thanks for replying. Is this based on your own experience? I did already check the website, hence my hesitancy. However, the manager of one of the local advisors (since the local advisor was no help whatsover) seems to think she would qualify, and that it was not that relevant if she has a carer or not. This is why I wanted to hear from other people's experiences. She could use the money to get the help she needs - she struggles putting things away, getting things down, preparing and cooking food, etc.  Amongst other things,  she has extremely poor mobility, made worse by other health conditions. 

From what you say, all those problems putting things away and getting things down, and preparing and cooking food then she may well qualify for AA. You’re right, it’s completely irrelevant whether she has a carer or not, nor is it relevant what condition is causing the problem. It’s certainly worth a go at applying - if you don’t buy a ticket, you won’t win the lottery. It’s not an enormous amount of money, but it would help. You’ve nothing to lose.

Hi, Did your mum apply for AA, and if so was she successful.

Hi Margs,
Thanks for following up. The last few months have been quite a journey.
Yes, we managed to get Attendance Allowance for my mum at the higher rate.
My advice to anyone is make sure you speak to the specialist benefits advisor at Parkinsons Uk - (the local advisor was zero help). He was extremely helpful with the application, and there to answer questions/support along the way.
Many of the difficulties people experience they wont necessarily think to say, as they take it for granted, but when you describe the difficulty alot of people with Parkinsons experience, and ask them if it is their experience, the answer is yes. I am sure you know this!
I am happy to share my experience with the benefits system too.
Attendance Allowance can be a passport to other benefits or higher rates of benefits, as it qualifies the person for a severe disability premium, ie. it is recognised that their disability means their living expenses - Attendance Allowance aside - will be higher than for other people.
For anyone that hasn’t applied for blue badge and taxi card, I also really recommend applying for these. They are really useful to have. (We managed to get these before she got her Attendance Allowance).

Also, its helpful to keep in mind, either when applying for yourself, or helping someone else apply, that its about the difficulty experienced doing the day to day tasks - ie it may be possible to wash, get dressed, etc, but is it done with more slowly/with difficulty/not as effectively/not as required?

Hi I wonder if you could help my dad has had Parkinson’s for 10 years we didn’t realise he was entitled to AA and to be honest mum was his main carer and I think kept a lot from us. Mum now has Alzheimer’s and dads Parkinson’s is progressed we are caring for both dad sleeps a lot his speech his very slurred his movement is very slow he needs help with personal care, dressing, eating nighttime needs, medication as he’s very forgetful to so my question is where do I start with forms. It’s answering them in the way they want that throws me dad needsconstant care my brother is there 5-6 times a day and night then weekends because I’m a few hrs drive I go. But I’m trying to fill in the forms I’m just lost with how you answer. Any help would be amazing x

Hi Mo1, it sounds like its worth applying for attendance allowance for both of your parents. Sorry you/they are having such a hard time. My initial advice would be - if you didn’t do this already - phone the DWP to request the Attendance Allowance forms, rather than just download them, since this gets logged, and, if it is awarded - which seems very likely - the AA gets backdated to the date you actually requested the form, so it makes a massive difference.
There is then a certain period (cant remember how long - it might even be around 6 weeks) you have to complete it and send it back. You can always use a downloaded version to draft the form and then write it out.
I also strongly advise you straight away to contact the Parkinsons Advice Line, and ask to speak to the Specialist Benefits and Employment Advisor, who can help you with the form.
Do this ASAP, and don’t spend time worrying about it. They were far more helpful that the local advisor, who was of no help whatsoever.
It sounds like you have a good idea already about what he (/she) struggles with day to day and night time. Just have a careful think through it, and write down the details - but the advisor can also help you with what is relavant that you may not think about.
Let me know how you get in.
(Also, in terms of help, it sounds like you need to request a Care Act assessment (for your mum and dad) - that way you can look at getting the help they needed. It would then get financially assessed, as to what the contribution would be from them e,g. if it was paying for carers. Attendance Allowance does obviously get taken into account for care, minus any disability related expenses.)
Hope this helps, good luck, and let me know how you get on.

when you apply for AA don;t forget it’s small thing that cause people with PD prob;ems eg making a cup of tea when you have a tremor and pick up the kettle you can easily scold your self H/S this is only one point of filling in the form.

Also if you are a career you are also entitle to what is called career’s allowance even if you go to work. It’s not much but it helps.