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Attendance Allowance Advice

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by DAL, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. DAL

    DAL Registered User

    Sep 9, 2016
    Hi All,

    I'm feeling quite anxious about completing the AA form for my Dad who has recently been diagnosed with Mixed Dementia. Age Concern were very unhelpful and told me that unless he needs help washing and dressing each day then he won't get anything.

    Any tips on the form to help alleviate my anxiety and help Dad get support?



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  2. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    I'm sorry Age UK were unhelpful. I agree it's not the easiest form to complete -try to describe dad's needs on his worst day.
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Try the CAB or your local Carers Centre. They can't all be that unhelpful. Remember it's about the help he needs, not the help he's already getting. Go through the list of questions on the form and note down the frequency and duration of tasks he needs help with. 20 minutes per task is a good guidance for success. Then elaborate in the text field. Think of absolutely everything, no matter how small a task. If you have any reports from the memory clinic etc, include them. The more the merrier. It's a long form but it prompts you with detailed questions. If he needs help at night as well, he'll get the higher rate, otherwise, it's the lower rate. But once he gets the lower rate and his need increases to night time, application for the higher rate can be easily done, with a much shorter form.

    Best of luck. If I could do it, so can you.
  4. netsy22

    netsy22 Registered User

    Oct 31, 2015
    You have to state the worst case scenario - they won't accept things like cleaning, cooking and shopping only personal care such as dressing, shaving, washing, getting food, taking medication etc. Put down any little tiny thing he needs help with including support for their emotional state, anxiety, etc. I think there's a space for taking them out also, and put if they have hearing, mobility or eyesight problems. My mum got it at the lower rate as she doesn't so far need help at night. I went to se a lovely person at the Alzheimer's society and she talked me through the form giving suggestions and I got some ideas from a website I'll see if I can find it. I can get out the form I did if you need more details.
    By the way, I have found Age Concern unhelpful on different topics!
  5. rhubarbtree

    rhubarbtree Registered User

    Jan 7, 2015
    South East
    My OH doesn't need help washing or dressing but he needs to be given the correct clothes and have dirty clothes taken away, washed etc. He doesn't need help eating but he couldn't shop or cook for himself. I know the form is a horror but just do your best. I wrote the answers as if I was my OH. Someone from the Attendance Allowance did phone me to clarify a few things. She was very non-committal but he was awarded the full amount. (He gets up at night very disorientated). All I know is my OH wouldn't survive for long without my assistance. Go for it with the form. Best of luck.
  6. Mal2

    Mal2 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2014
    #6 Mal2, Nov 14, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
    My husband was refused on our first AA application. The Nurse at the memory clinic was really angry about that. She came to our house, took away with her the copies of the forms I had filled in. She came back a day later with everything written out, as it should appear to the AA board. She told me it is the way you word things.
    e.g. He had Dementia, deteriorating daily, he wasn't going to improve, becoming more dependent on help, daily. Couldn't go shopping, or use public transport alone, do housework, make tea etc. I had to get up 3/4/5 times a night. He would get up to go to the bathroom, on his own, but, there was the danger that he would make a wrong turn and fall down the stairs. It is also about the carer, put down every detail, however small you may think it is, everything that has to be done, or you have to be there for to help him with.

    I also had someone phone to discuss things on my 1st form, the nurse said this should not have happened, they should have contacted the memory clinic for any information they wanted.

    I suggest you contact your memory clinic ( or whomever deals with your Dad's case) Doctor/nurse for their help. I could not have had better help from our memory clinic staff. A year or so later I applied for higher rate AA, which was approved in a couple of weeks. I

    Hope you get the help and advice you need soon.
  7. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    I got help to fill it in from someone - I think it was our social worker. They know how to word it correctly - you have to put the worst case scenario.
  8. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    AgeUK did OHs and they were brilliant!
  9. wilsonlad1973

    wilsonlad1973 Registered User

    Nov 12, 2016

    I went to citizens advice and they were a great help,they will handle your appeal too if needed,good luck
  10. LizK

    LizK Registered User

    Dec 18, 2015
    My local contact from the Alzheimer's Society came to my house and helped me fill in this form, which took us an hour at least, and she knew what she was doing! She also helped me with getting the council tax reduction. Of all the help I've had, she was the most use to me. She keeps in touch, and one day when she phoned I told her about problems with Peter's behaviour at the nursing home. She got in touch with the mental health nurse at the memory clinic and she in turn turned up at the nursing home with a psychiatrist. I can't recommend their help more.

  11. netsy22

    netsy22 Registered User

    Oct 31, 2015
    I was also told that if you have a diagnosis of dementia it's almost guaranteed. Remember- write down all the negatives, this is no time to be positive!
  12. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    I didn't think my dad would get attendance allowance as he can still do everything for himself. But when I thought about it I realised he needed prompting to do some things (eg washing) can't go anywhere by himself, he gets lost, and although he can dress himself he sometimes needs a little adjustment or reminding to put clean clothes on. Everything takes a long time and things will only get worse.

    I would describe him as semi independent

    I wrote all this down on the form and we got the lower level. I was worried it might be refused.
  13. mely

    mely Registered User

    Nov 12, 2016
    I made an appointment with a local 'Age Concern' place and they were absolutely lovely-asked me questions and then filled out the form for me with the 'right words'! But, yeah, it was every little detail. The lady said to me to stop feeling guilty and be honest-we had to be brutal, but as she said, if we didn't write it down, the person taking care of the form at the other end wouldn't necessarily know what we were doing for her. And it's such a long form! Also, as my MIL lives alone, once she had her aa approved, I applied for a council tax exemption-apparently she's entitled to that because of the dementia (I'm not sure at what age that you stop paying for that? But MIL was young when she was diagnosed) Both have been a great help in paying for her day centre & befreinder service, so I'm glad I got that sorted out straight away.
  14. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    My mum got the lower level too (only because she didn't need help at night at the time). She was living alone with no relatives near enough to help, only a cleaner once a week. She was managing personal care but struggling with most other daily tasks at home. Not eating properly. Not going out because of poor mobility.
  15. Beetroot

    Beetroot Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    I was advised by someone who hears appeals against refusal of attendance allowance to use the end section to write a little detailed history of how we got to where we are - e.g. noticing things weren't right and how. She said most forms that are rejected do not have enough information on them. "I have to give her pills" isn't enough. "I have to give her her pills because she'd forget to take them or take the wrong dose and she can't understand how to use a dosette box" is better (if that's the case of course).
  16. DAL

    DAL Registered User

    Sep 9, 2016
    Thanks all. I've just spent two hours doing the form and I'm exhausted

    I'll send it off and hope for the best and if it's refused I'll get in touch with dementia support.

    Thanks again for the help!


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  17. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    If you get a chance before posting it try and take a copy to keep for your records. Then if things change in the future and you find you are giving more assistance , you can easily tell what you said last time.

    I claimed AA for at least a couple of years for dad before he needed any personal care. I found once he was needing more personal care and night time supervision, it was worth claiming the higher rate. That is when having a copy of the original can be useful.
    Also useful if your claim is declined and you need help to appeal against it.
  18. DAL

    DAL Registered User

    Sep 9, 2016
    Just to update this post, Dad was awarded the lower level AA, starting in a few weeks. Since then I've been in touch with the council and local benefits office because his AA award helped to exempt him from council tax and gave him an increase in HB.

    Thanks for the advice and support!


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  19. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Excellent, well done you!
  20. Trisha4

    Trisha4 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    I completed the forms myself and my husband was awarded AA. I then contacted them when things got harder and his allowance was changed to the higher amount. I agree with what others have said. Although my husband could physically dress himself when I first applied I had to give him the appropriate clothes, remove dirty ones etc. So that isn't being able to dress himself. Think in terms of could he do these things if you weren't there at all. Hope that helps and good luck.

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