DWP will pay you for up to 3 months before the start of your claim. This date is either from when you call for a claim form or from when the DWP receives your printed form.
Calling the DWP starts your claim period earlier.
DLA eligibility criteria
The DLA form asks for descriptions of how your child’s condition affects daily life. It’s up to you to provide examples to show your child is eligible. This can be a challenging experience for parents.
Write down everything your child needs during a day in as much detail as possible.
Think about how your child:
uses the bathroom
concentrates at school
gets on with teachers and therapists
interacts with you, brothers and sisters, family, friends and strangers
Speak with anyone involved in your child’s care, such as their therapists, doctor, social worker or teacher. Everyone will have a different perspective.
Think about the everyday things you do. It may seem obvious to you, but it may not be to the assessor. Give detail and say if things happen sometimes, a lot or all the time.
Do not write: “Cannot dress himself.”
Do write: “My child needs help getting dressed every morning. He cannot put his arms through the sleeves of his t-shirt without my help. Every night my child needs help to take off his t-shirt and to put on his pyjamas.”
Explain your child’s needs
Do not write: “I help my child go to the toilet 5 times a day.”
Do write: “My child needs help going to the toilet 5 times a day. She needs help removing her underwear and I have to clean and wash her after every visit to the toilet.”
The person making the decision is not a medical person. Use simple language in your answers. You should describe your child’s condition, but you do not have to use medical terms. The important thing is to describe how the condition affects your child’s daily life.
The DWP will compare your child with a non-disabled child of the same age. Concentrate on your child’s additional needs. The assessor knows that most children aged 3 need some help eating. If your child is unable to eat without you feeding them, explain this. Talk about your child’s mental and physical needs. It might be a physical condition, but it could cause your child distress.
Warning Think about your bad days
Do not exaggerate but provide examples of your child's bad days. What seems normal or easy to you might not be to others, especially if you’ve adapted to your child’s condition. Make sure you include everything your child finds difficult or impossible to do, even if it’s not every day. And explain why it’s difficult or impossible.
Include as much evidence as you can, such as:
medical or therapy reports
a Special Educational Needs (SEN) or school plan
a statement from another carer
Do not include:
a diary you made documenting your child’s condition
long descriptions of your child’s conditions
anything that does not support your child’s additional needs
If you need more space than the form allows, you can include extra information on separate sheets of paper.
Warning Make copies
Make copies of the completed form and any extra evidence before sending it to the DWP.
Once the DWP has assessed your form, they will contact you with their decision. This usually takes about 40 days.
If you challenge the DWP’s decision, they may need more information. This could include a physical assessment.