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Attendance Allowance

Anne Higgins
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Welfare rights officer - North Lanarkshire Council

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Client was assessed by OT and was given a wet floor area and chairlift.  DWP now say because he these aids then that negates the need of Attendance allowance.  Any Case Law on this anyone

Brian JB
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Advisor - Wirral Welfare Rights Unit, Birkenhead

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The issue is always whether a person reasonably requires assistance from another person with their bodily functions. If the aids or adaptations remove the reasonable need for assistance from another person, because the person can manage with those aids, the fact that they need aids will not assist (unlike PIP). It all depends on the case of course, and there may be other types of attention required for which the person reasonably requires attention from another person (whether or not s/he actually receives that attention) and the level of that attention may still meet the threshold of frequently throughout the day; or repeatedly or for a prolonged period at night.

Additionally, if a person still reasonably requires some assistance to wash/bathe despite the adapted bathroom facilities, that attention should count. Certainly I can think of occasions where we have had to provide that sort of attention to elderly relatives notwithstanding the fact that they had a wet room, rails, etc

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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Yes, Sweet and Maxwell references Judge Ward in the UT in SF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (DLA) [2010] UKUT 78 (AAC) who quotes with approval the following passage from an earlier decision CDLA/304/07

Other aids and adaptations which are readily available might also be expected to be used, and taken into account in assessing the claimant’s care needs, whether or not she has them at the date of the decision provided that they can be expected to be obtained at short notice.


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Though if she has need of a stair lift is she at risk of falling when out and about managing stairs etc - she can’t be expected to stay in her house the whole time. It would be worth looking at the assessment and what risks necessitated the need for a stair lift and if that might indicate needs at other times/places. Similarly does the wet room include things (heightened toilet seat, grab rails) that enable her to use the toilet unaided at home but demonstrate that she wouldn’t be able to elsewhere.