Social Security Experience Panels: attendance allowance discovery

This report explores Experience Panel member views on claiming Attendance Allowance.

Impact of Attendance Allowance

In order to gain a greater understanding of participant's expectations and views on Attendance Allowance, we asked them to describe in their own words what they thought the benefit was for and the impact the payments had on their lives.

Participant views varied little and were generally consistent across the survey and focus groups. Responses generally fell into three groups and can be summarised as: to maintain independence, to supplement the additional costs resulting from health conditions and to ensure financial stability.

In practice, this meant the money often went towards paying for taxis, supporting care costs and purchasing meals.

'To meet the additional costs of everyday life. Poor health means I can't cook, so were [sic] possible I buy in meals, I need to taxi everywhere, so that's another cost.'

'The financial payment assists pensioners to pay for help with their care, cleaners, use of taxis to get from A to B. The payment can also help them buy household furniture or equipment to ease or help their illness/disability.'

Participants told us that the additional money 'made life a little easier' as things such as heating became more affordable:

'It makes life a little easier by ensuring that help is on hand when needed. It means that I can turn the heating on.'

We heard from several participants that without the benefit, they would not be able to meet their financial commitments:

'Without it, I could not pay my bills and get a companion bus pass.'

'We would not survive financially without it since I had to give up work.'

Many participants felt Attendance Allowance was to help them maintain independence, such as through supporting them to live in their own homes:

'To allow a person who requires assistance to remain in their home and function as well as possible and as nearly as possible to those without life limiting conditions.'

'To support people to remain in their own homes, as independently as possible, for as long as possible.'



Back to top