Attendance Allowance Guide
Updated: Apr 11
For UK nationals living in Spain
Attendance Allowance is a UK benefit available to people of pensionable age who need help with daily living tasks/personal care due to a physical or mental health condition. Whilst usually only available to people who are resident in the UK, you might still be able to get Attendance Allowance if
you are a UK national and
you live in or move to the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and
you have been continuously and legally resident there since before 1 January 2021 (under the UK /EU Withdrawal Agreement) and
you meet the assistance requirements (see below)
If you are a UK national and you were not legally living in Spain before January 2021, this benefit is only available in very limited circumstances for a temporary period of up to 13 weeks or 26 weeks if you are receiving medical treatment.
Attendance Allowance is for people who require the following kinds of assistance:
Help with things such as washing yourself, dressing, eating, using the toilet or communicating your needs.
Supervision to avoid putting yourself in danger (needing someone to keep an eye on your condition, diet, actions, etc.)
Personal supervision whilst on dialysis.
It does not cover mobility needs.
You do not have to have a carer or other people living with you in order to qualify for this benefit. It depends on your needs, not how you manage your care and support, so you can apply even if you live on your own.
How much is it?
There are two weekly rates, which depend on your level of need: If you qualify, the benefit continues for as long as your condition continues. If you receive the lower rate and your needs increase, you can apply for the higher rate at any time.
Attendance Allowance rate per week from April 2023
Lower rate - £68.10 - If you need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night
Higher rate - £101.75 If you need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or a medical professional has said you might have 12 months or less to live
Can I qualify if I live in Spain?
You can qualify for Attendance Allowance if
you are a UK national living in Spain , so long as you were legally living in Spain before January 2021 (and can show that you fall under the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement) and
that you meet the other conditions regarding your support needs.
If you live in Spain and you are entitled to a sickness benefit from Spain, or you have worked in Spain for a period of time, this might affect your entitlement. If you receive a state pension or invalidity benefit from Spain, you may be entitled to a Spanish disability benefit instead of Attendance Allowance, especially if it is paid at a higher rate than Attendance Allowance. You can check Spanish disability benefits here.
What are the requirements for Attendance Allowance?
You can get Attendance Allowance if you’ve reached State Pension age and the following apply:
you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), 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 might have 6 months or less to live).
Making your application
It is important that when you complete the application form, you clearly explain your attendance needs. Do not underplay or minimise your need for help, be honest and include every detail, even though you might usually take your difficulties for granted because you live with them on a daily basis. It can be very helpful to get someone else to help you ensure that you include every detail. If you are uncertain about how to complete the Attendance Allowance form, you can check this official website containing instructions about the process. If you are unsure about how to complete it, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been possible to apply by email to: TEAM.EXPORTABILITY@DWP.GOV.UK (all uppercase) but we understand that some people are being asked to make a postal application. We recommend that if you select the email option, that you also back it up with a postal application to:
Attendance Allowance Unit, Mail Handling Site A
Phone: 0800 587 0912 or 0800 012 1574 (deaf or hard hearing users/speech difficulties) or +44 135 535 9022 if you live abroad.
*If you are sending your application by post from Europe, you will need to pay the postage.
We recommend that whichever application method you use, you keep a copy of all the documents used in the application. When applying by email, you will need to explain that you live outside of the UK and that you are applying as you qualify under the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement.
The decision is made by the UK Disability and Carers service and takes three weeks or longer. If you are refused, you can appeal.
Once awarded, the benefit is paid into your chosen bank account You can also choose another person (such as a carer or family member) to receive the payment on your behalf.
If you are rejected, do not give up! Take advice and get professional support - because many applications are rejected simply due to insufficient explanation of the need. A resubmission of more detailed information and evidence on appeal can be successful.
How do I apply on behalf of someone else?
You can apply on behalf of someone who is too ill to do it themself or is unable to make their own decisions. If the beneficiary cannot sign the form themself, the representative will need to:
Have power of attorney, if you need to make decisions on behalf of the claimant.
Be a deputy, if you need to sort out the process and manage the spending.
Be an appointee, if you want to make decisions on behalf of the beneficiary, and they cannot make decisions for themselves (and there is no power of attorney for them).
If you are under the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement and you are taking care of someone for at least 35 hours a week, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. This benefit can be up to £76.75 a week (from April 2023).
You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.
You do not get paid extra if you care for more than one person.
If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance.
Be 16+ years old
Spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person. This can include:
helping with washing and cooking, taking the person you care for to a doctor’s appointment and helping with household tasks, like managing bills and shopping
The person you care for receives an Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, the Disability Living allowance (medium or higher rate), the PIP or the Armed Forces Independence Payment
You are not in full time education
You earn less than £139 pounds a week after deductions (2023 rate)
Claiming Carer’s Allowance
You need to give
Your National Insurance Number
Bank or building society details
Employment details and latest payslips if you’re working
Course details if you are studying
Details of expenses, such as pension contributions or the cost of caring for the disabled person while you’re at work
From the person you take care of:
Date of birth and address
National insurance number if they are 16
Disability Living Allowance if they’re under 16
If you need further information or help to claim Attendance Allowance, and/or Carer’s Allowance contact email@example.com.
Other useful guides:
Power of attorney - to ensure that if you lose capacity in the future, you have your representation needs covered
Why you should make a will
Professional Services to help you - Legal, Translation, Health Insurance, Medical Certificates and Tax
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