For the eligibility conditions and rules for claiming Attendance Allowance, please go to the Gov.uk website.
Attendance Allowance provides a non-contributory, non-means-tested and tax-free contribution towards help with personal care for persons who are physically or mentally disabled and are aged 65 or over.
Attendance Allowance is paid at two rates, which at the time of writing are:
This report uses statistics on Attendance Allowance for February 2016, published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The figures analysed are for 'all entitled cases', including those who have had their payment suspended, for example, if they are in hospital. The yearly change in the number of cases is examined as well as the change since recent peaks in caseloads.
Despite an ageing population, the number of all entitled Attendance Allowance cases in Great Britain has been falling since August 2010 (-10.8%). The number of lower rate Attendance Allowance cases has been in decline for longer, since November 2006 (-20.4%) at the GB level, whilst the higher rate caseload in Great Britain has fallen by a lower -5.0% since November 2010. Numbers have decreased by greater percentages in both the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas over these time periods for each of the three data groups.
Contrary to the longer term trend, over the previous year (from February 2015 to February 2016), the number of entitled claimants of the higher rate of Attendance Allowance within Great Britain has risen by +15,970 (+1.7%). This increase was however offset by a greater decline in the volume of lower rate Attendance Allowance cases in GB, which fell by -18,870 (-2.9%). Overall therefore, the total number of Attendance Allowance cases has continued to fall marginally in GB, by -2,900 (-0.2%) over the year.
The number of Attendance Allowance cases have continued to decrease in all of the three data groups in both the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas between February 2015 and February 2016.
The caseload entitled to the higher rate of Attendance Allowance is therefore steadily accounting for a greater percentage of a reducing number of Attendance Allowance claimants.
The Attendance Allowance caseload in Great Britain (GB) totalled 1,597,770 in February 2016. For the North West region, the caseload of 203,390, represented 12.7% of the GB figure and was the second largest regional total behind that for the South East of England 204,480 (12.8%).
In the Lancashire-14 area, the total Attendance Allowance caseload numbered 45,380 in February 2016 and 36,790 in the Lancashire-12 area.
At the local authority level, Blackpool (5,100), Wyre (4,620) and Lancaster (4,480) had the greatest volume of cases in the Lancashire-14 area, whilst Rossendale (1,740) and Ribble Valley (1,720) had the lowest.
Figure 1: February 2016, total Attendance Allowance caseloads, plus higher and lower rate Attendance Allowance cases for the local authorities in the Lancashire-14 area (all entitled cases)
Notes:  All entitled cases include those who have had their payment suspended, for example, if they are in hospital.  The Attendance Allowance caseload totals may not equal the sum of the lower rate and higher rate sub-totals, owing to rounding (to 10). Source: Department for Work and Pensions - Stat-Xplore data download facility
At the GB level, 60.6% of the total caseload (968,200) received the higher rate of Attendance Allowance and 39.4% (629,570) received lower rate. Within the Lancashire-14 area, a greater percentage of cases, 65.0% (29,490) were in receipt of the higher rate and 35% (15,900) received the lower rate. The percentages were similar for the Lancashire-12 area, where 65.1% (23,950) were in receipt of the higher rate and 34.9% (12,850) received the lower rate.
The total Attendance Allowance caseload for Great Britain peaked in August 2010 at 1,791,920 cases (since May 2002). At February 2016, the total had fallen by 10.8% (-194,150 cases), or by roughly a ninth.
Between August 2010 and February 2016, the total caseload for the Lancashire-14 area has decreased from 52,420 to 45,380 cases, or by -13.4% (-7,040 cases), which was greater than the GB percentage fall (-10.8%). Blackburn with Darwen (-20.3%), Rossendale (-19.8%), Pendle (-18.2%), Hyndburn (-17.1%) and Blackpool (-16.9%) saw the greatest percentage reductions in the Lancashire-14 area over this period. Only Ribble Valley (-9.9% (- 190 cases)), Lancaster (-9.7% (-480 cases)), Wyre (-6.5% (-320 cases)) and West Lancashire (-2.8% (-100 cases)) registered lower percentage reductions than the GB average.
Figure 2: Percentage change in the total Attendance Allowance caseloads from August 2010 to February 2016, plus the percentage change in the number of lower rate Attendance Allowance cases from November 2006 to February 2016 and the percentage change in the number of higher rate Attendance Allowance cases from November 2010 to February 2016 (all entitled case).
Notes:  All entitled cases include those who have had their payment suspended, for example, if they are in hospital.  The Attendance Allowance caseload totals may not equal the sum of the lower rate and higher rate sub-totals, owing to rounding (to 10).  Percentage change figures are based on caseload data that have been rounded to the nearest 10. This may result in some inaccuracies. * The number of entitled cases in Great Britain living abroad and of unknown location represented less than 0.2%. Source: Department for Work and Pensions - Stat-Xplore data download facility
The largest numeric falls in the total caseload in the Lancashire-14 area were recorded in Blackpool (-1,040 cases), Blackburn with Darwen (-890), Preston (-620), Pendle (-620) and South Ribble (-550 cases) since August 2010 and the lowest reduction was in West Lancashire (-100 cases).
In the Lancashire-12 area, the Attendance Allowance caseload has fallen from 41,900 in August 2010 to 36,790 cases in February 2016, or by -12.2% (-5,110 cases), which again was greater than the GB percentage fall (-10.8%).
Between February 2015 and February 2016, the total number of entitled cases to Attendance Allowance in Great Britain has fallen by -0.2% (-2,900 cases) from 1,600,670 to 1,597,770. The percentage reduction for the Lancashire-14 area was greater at -1.2% (-540 cases) over the year.
Eleven of the authorities within the Lancashire-14 area also recorded reductions to their Attendance Allowance caseloads over to year. Decreases ranged from -10 cases in Blackburn with Darwen, to -100 in Blackpool, -120 in South Ribble and -130 cases in Preston.
In terms of percentage reductions, the decreases ranged from -0.3% in Blackburn with Darwen, to -3.5% in both South Ribble and Preston. The majority of these are much greater than the -0.2% fall for Great Britain.
Please note that the percentage change figures are based on caseload data that have been rounded to the nearest 10. This may result in some inaccuracies, especially at the district level, and for change over the previous year where numbers are small. Caution should therefore be applied, especially when analysing the district and unitary authority yearly percentage change figures.
Rossendale (+10, (+0.6%)) registered a slight rise between February 2015 and February 2016, whilst West Lancashire (+120 cases, (+3.6%)) showed a more substantial increase. Ribble Valley recorded no change over the period.
The percentage decrease in the total caseload for the Lancashire-12 area of -1.2% (-430 cases) was also larger than the GB fall (-0.2%) over the year.
The DWP produces quarterly and monthly statistical summaries on benefits data, which may of interest to readers.
The full report contains information about potential entitlement to other benefits, data tables and additional analysis of the lower and higher rates of Attendance Allowance. This is available to download via the link below.
Page updated September 2016