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Attendance Allowance

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 128884, tabled on 21 February 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of replacing the six-month qualifying period for attendance allowance with a supporting statement from a medical professional confirming a long-term disability.

Answered on

1 March 2018

Entitlement to Attendance Allowance is based on the on-going need for frequent personal care and attention, or supervision to ensure personal safety, rather than on the individual’s medical condition. The six-month qualifying period helps establish that the disability and the resulting care or supervision needs are of a long-term nature, and ensures the benefit goes to those for whom it is intended. The Government believes the current long-standing rules of a six month qualifying period are working well.

Severely disabled people do not always have to wait for six months from the date of their claim before they become entitled to the benefit. The Decision Maker will always look at whether, and for how long, the severely disabled person has required the necessary level of care or supervision before the date of claim, and consider whether some or all of the qualifying period has already been completed.

For people who have a progressive disease and are not expected to live longer than another six months, there is no requirement to meet the 6 month qualifying period.