Applying for Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) can help with the additional costs of bringing up your child.

Claim DLA if your child is under 16 and has trouble with mobility or needs more care than a non-disabled child of the same age.

You can complete your DLA claim form online or call the Disability Living Allowance helpline for a printed version. The form asks for descriptions of how your child’s condition affects daily life. It’s these examples that people find the most challenging.

Knowing more about DLA, from eligibility criteria to what you get, the easier it will be to claim. It’s up to you to prove your child is eligible by showing how their condition affects their daily life.

DLA payments

DLA has care and mobility components and your child may be eligible for one or both. Each component has different rates of payment. The amount you receive depends on your child’s needs.

Care component

Your child needs:

  • about an hour’s extra care during the day or night - lowest payment
  • frequent help of 20 minutes or more during the day and night or extra supervision during the day and at night - middle payment
  • help day and night or if they are terminally ill - highest payment

Mobility component

Your child:

  • is aged 5 or above and can walk but needs help outdoors or when somewhere new - lowest payment
  • is aged 3 or above and cannot walk, can only walk a short distance, could become very ill trying to walk or is severely sight impaired - highest payment

If your child is not expected to live more than 6 months, you can get DLA quickly by:

  • completing a DLA claim form
  • asking your child’s doctor to complete an official medical form called a DS1500

Completing the DLA form

The DLA claim form includes an information booklet that gives examples of what the Department for Work and Pensions requires for each question.

Citizens Advice also has a step-by-step guide to help with filling in the DLA form for your child.

Warning Phone for your claim form

If you request a DLA form by phone, your claim starts from the date you make the call.

You then have 6 weeks to complete the form and post it to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

This means that if successful, you will get money for those 6 weeks.

But if you download the form to fill in with a pen, your claim will start from when the DWP receive your form.

DLA tips

The more information you give the DWP the better. It’s also important how you present the information. You should:

  • state the obvious even if it seems normal to you
  • ask a friend or relative to reflect back on your child’s needs
  • use ‘because’ to explain why your child cannot do something
  • write down in a diary when your child cannot do something so that you can refer to it later
  • use real examples and always say if this happens some, a lot or all of the time, and for how long
  • avoid saying your child can do something if they cannot do it all of the time
  • ask the school to provide evidence of how it meets your child’s needs
  • seek evidence from medical professionals about your child’s condition and any medication they might be taking

Help with benefit form filling 

Last reviewed by Scope on: 23/10/2018

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