What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and who can claim it?

Following the introduction of PIP, DLA is a benefit to help support children under 16 with care and mobility needs.

Adults under 65 who have care and mobility needs should apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), while those over 65 should claim Attendance Allowance.

You can claim DLA on behalf of your child if they need more care than children of the same age, meaning they need assistance with things like getting dressed or going to the toilet. You can also claim for mobility meanwhile if they cannot walk or follow an unfamiliar route without guidance. You can claim the mobility component of DLA once your child is 3. If it is the higher rate they need (severe walking difficulties), or once they are 5 for the lower rate (they need guidance or supervision when outdoors).

Who is eligible for DLA?

Find out more about eligibility for DLA and DLA rates on the official government website.

DLA is a benefit to help with the extra costs of raising a disabled child. It takes into account your child's mobility and care needs. DLA is not means-tested.

DLA has 2 parts - care and mobility. You may be paid either one, or both. To qualify for either, your child must satisfy the DLA disability tests for 3 months before being paid and be likely to do so for at least 6 months afterwards, unless they're terminally ill.

Your child can receive only one rate from each component.

If your child is awarded DLA, you may qualify for Carer's Allowance and for help from the Motability scheme.

How do I claim DLA for my child?

You can either:

  • Call the Disability Living Allowance helpline and ask for a claim form (DLA1)
    Telephone 08457 12 34 56
    Textphone 08457 22 44 33
  • Download a DLA1 claim pack from Direct Gov

Your claim date will be the date you call and ask for the form, if you complete and return it in the time given. If you download a claim form, it will be the date your completed form is received. Claims can take around 40 days, and there may be an assessment.

Can I challenge a DLA decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your child's DLA claim you can ask for a Mandatory Review.

If you still believe the decision is wrong, for example because incorrect information was used, you can appeal. You have one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

How to appeal a Disability Living Allowance decision.

I’m currently on DLA. Will this end?

If you were born after 8 April 1948 and are over 16, you will be invited to apply for Personal Independence Payment by the end of 2018. If you were born on or before 8 April 1948, your DLA disability benefits will continue for as long as you need care or mobility assistance. 

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