Maximising Attendance Allowance: Discounts and benefits for recipients and carers

Reviewed by Dean Morgan

Attendance Allowance provides helpful extra income for older people who need help looking after themselves, but did you know that it also opens the door to a number of discounts and other benefits?

If your parent or elder relative receives Attendance Allowance, don’t miss out on money-saving concessions, discounts and other benefits that they (or you if you’re their carer) may be entitled to.

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Cinema concession

Anyone awarded Attendance Allowance is eligible for a CEA card, a national card scheme from the UK Cinema Association. The card entitles cardholders to ONE free ticket for someone to accompany them to any participating cinema. The card costs £6 per year and 90% of cinemas in the UK are part of scheme.

Apply for a CEA Card

Discounts on rail travel

Being awarded Attendance Allowance also automatically makes you eligible for a Disabled Person’s Railcard, which costs £20 a year and gives both the cardholder AND a travelling companion a third off train fares. Unlike a Senior Person’s Railcard, there are no time restrictions on when it can be used.

Apply for Disable Person’s Railcard

National Trust Companion Card

The National Trust has an Essential Companion card, which allows people who require assistance and support to bring a companion with them free of charge when visiting National Trust properties.

To order a companion card, email the National Trust on enquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk or call the Supporter Services Centre on 0344 800 1895.

Find out more

Blue Badge

A Blue Badge makes it easier for people to park closer to where they need to go. Although Attendance Allowance doesn’t automatically qualify someone for a Blue Badge, it can help and is something worth exploring with your parent or relative’s local council.

Apply for a Blue Badge

Council Tax Reduction

In England, Scotland and Wales, receiving Attendance Allowance can help you qualify for a council tax reduction of between 25% and 100%.  If your parent or elder loved one is awarded Attendance Allowance and they have a condition like dementia or Parkinson’s Disease or complications from a stroke that affect their thinking, they may be eligible for the SMI (severely mentally impaired) council tax discount. Check with their doctor to see if they might be eligible.

How you apply for this varies on where in the UK your parent or elder relative lives. In England and Scotland, you need to request a claim form from the local council, while in Wales there is a standardised form on the Welsh Government website.

If your parent isn’t eligible for an SMI discount, but lives with someone that cares for them, they may still be eligible for a 25% discount on their council tax bill.

Carers Card UK

If your parent receives Attendance Allowance and you provide them with support and care, consider getting a Carers Card from Carers Card UK. This is a national ‘Carers ID’ card that provides digital support and discounts on certain brands and services (including Whirlpool, Vision Express and Just Eat). The card comes with an accompanying app and costs £8 for a 2-year membership. You do not need to provide evidence that you are a carer or that your parent receives Attendance Allowance. You just need to complete an online eligibility form.

Check your eligibility

Discounts for Carers

The website Discounts for Carers offers various discounts and deals on products and services for caring professionals and family caregivers. This includes offers on groceries, utilities, travel, and more. If your parent or elder relative receives Attendance Allowance, and you look after them, you could make numerous savings by joining the site.

Find out more about Discounts for Carers

Carers Credit

If your parent or elder relative receives Attendance Allowance, and you provide them with at least 20 hours a week of unpaid care, you may be entitled to carer’s credit which could boost your state pension in the future. Carers credit is a National Insurance credit that helps to fill gaps in your National Insurance record. Note that this only applies if you (the carer) are aged between 16 and 65.

Learn more about Carers Credit

Carers Allowance

If your parent or elder relative receives Attendance Allowance, and you, another relative or friend looks after them for at least 35 hours per week, you or they might be eligible for Carer’s Allowance which is paid at £81.90 per week (2024/25). Carers Allowance is means-tested – so whether or not you are eligible depends on your income level. If you (the carer) are receiving a State Pension, you would also not be awarded Carers Allowance.

Read more about Carer’s Allowance on GOV.UK

In summary

It’s not always immediately clear or obvious what additional benefits and discounts people who qualify for Attendance Allowance (and their carers) are entitled to.

From free cinema tickets and discounted travel to council tax reductions and additional support for carers, there are numerous ways to make the most of this benefit, bringing further financial relief and better quality of life for both your parent and the person (or people) who care for them.

Common questions

  • Do you have to pay council tax if you are on Attendance Allowance?

Being awarded Attendance Allowance doesn’t automatically exempt someone from paying council tax. However, it can help someone qualify for a council tax reduction, which could be between 25% and 100% off the bill, depending on the individual’s specific circumstances.

  • Can you get a car tax reduction on Attendance Allowance?

No, receiving Attendance Allowance does qualify someone for a car tax reduction.

  • Can you get double the amount of Carer’s Allowance if you are caring for two parents?

Unfortunately, you do not get paid extra Carers Allowance if you care for more than one parent.

  • How can I apply for Attendance Allowance?

Read our guide to help you apply for Attendance Allowance.

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