care fees and Attendance Allowance

I have recently become the carer for my mother, who is approaching her 96th birthday. She’s been living in California for the past 20 years with my brother, coming back twice a year for visits. She came for a visit early in March of last year and is still here as she can’t get back due to Covid. All her possessions have been shipped over and she is staying here with me.

She was absolutely fine until about 3 months ago when she was diagnosed with an irregular heart rate and her medication was changed. Then she lost most of her mobility as well as getting a UTI which has left her somewhat confused. Anyway long story short is that I’ve become her carer, virtually overnight.The only other help she gets is a carer in the morning for about 30 minutes and an evening carer for about 15 minutes.

As a retired DWP benefit processor, I knew all about Attendance Allowance (AA). So I filled in the claim. Despite 48 years as a benefit processor, I struggled completing the claim form, so really feel for those having to do it without any help.

When it came to the financial assessment, it turned out that her state pension and private pension together came out as £1 per month below the lowest level at which she would have to pay. Then I knew that the AA claim was a waste of time as it would taken fully into account. The award notice came yesterday so I’ve checked with the council and yes,it’s given with one hand and taken away with the other £ for £. I’ve phoned up to cancel the claim altogether as pointless in claiming it . However was told that is not a valid reason to cancel the claim. The girl I spoke to says it’s happening all the time,

So why on earth is there nothing in place for the AA to be signed over to the council. Why do I have to deal with all the admin and set up direct debits etc. A total waste of everybody’s time. In reality it’s the government just moving it from one pot to another via the person needing care. Far less admin for the council just to claim it directly. At 96 years old my mother’s condition is not likely to improve.

Attendance Allowance is not means tested.

Dear Soulja_2109
Hi there. My name is Kristie and i am an online community host for Carers UK. I am sorry to hear that you have been living in this situation but i am sure you will find the answer to your solution with Carers UK. We have a helpline you can ring and i will give you the Telephone Number below for you to ring. They do help with benefit issues so if you can I would suggest for you to give them a ring.
So, welcome to the forum. You are not alone in your caring role and we are sure that many on here will understand exactly what you are going through and how you feel and will offer you support. Caring can be very lonely and the pandemic has made caring responsibilities challenging as many carers have been socially restricted and unable to attend social groups etc.
Carers UK are running online weekly meet ups for carers and you can find the information on how to register at:-Care For A Cuppa:-Online meetups | Carers UK. There is a second online weekly meet up called Share And Learn:-Share and Learn | Carers UK.
Our Telephone Number is 0808 808 7777 and the hours it is open are from Monday to Friday between 9am-6pm. The Email Address is (
They provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers:-
-Benefits And Financial Support
-Your Rights As A Carer In The Workplace
-Carers Assessments And How To Get Support In Your Caring Role
-Services Available To Carers And The People You Care For
-How To Complain Effectively And Challenge Decisions
I am sure you will be able to get advice about your problem if you can telephone the helpline.
Best Wishes

Is mum a UK pensioner?
Are you aware of NHS Continuing Healthcare? I have no idea if there is any residency requirement I’m afraid.

i am also wondering whether she is entitled to any allowances/benefits since she has been living in the US for 20 years.

i don’t mean to be rude but I don’t think there are many countries which would take on the responsibility for someone who has not lived here for 20 years. I have read several stories about elderly people who have moved out to Australia to live with their sons/daughters for their final years and they get no help at all and are told to return to the UK.

Having said all that I am sorry that your Mum has deteriorated. 96 is a grand age. X