We love DLA – make sure you are not missing out

4 mins read

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Tags: benefits, dla, family finances, child disability payment, welfare

This month we are celebrating Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Our We Love DLA month is all about increasing awareness and take-up of this key benefit that helps meet the extra costs of raising a disabled child. It is particularly important in the current climate with a sky-high cost of living.

Biggest rise in children entitled to DLA

There have been great strides in recent years encouraging take-up of DLA. Last year, there was an increase of over 52,000 children entitled to DLA, representing a rise of 9.5% – the biggest in recent years. There are now 603,076 children entitled to DLA.

In Scotland, where the Child Disability Payment is replacing DLA, there were an estimated 43,720 children receiving the new benefit by 30 September 2022 according to Social Security Scotland.

Derek Sinclair, Senior Parent Adviser on Contact’s Helpline, said: “We think the increase in children entitled to DLA is due to a combination of factors, including an increased number of children identified as disabled and families struggling financially due to the cost of living and so seeking to maximise income.

“On top of that there is better awareness of DLA, reduced stigma in claiming and better resources to help families claim. Despite all this, Contact estimates the benefit is still underclaimed.”

Income boost for families struggling with the cost of living

There have been large rises in children identified with a disability or additional need in recent years, due to better identification and medical advances. Government figures show that there are almost 1.5 million pupils in England with a special educational need or disability. The figure for the whole of the UK will be higher.

Not all will be eligible for DLA, but some will be – and these are currently missing out on a potential income boost of £24.45 to £156.90 each week.

Gateway benefit to unlock other financial help

Derek added: “DLA is not only the main benefit for disabled children: it is also a gateway benefit which might allow a family to qualify for other financial help too – for example, Carer’s Allowance.

“It can make a real difference to a family’s overall income and other outcomes such as reducing isolation. Many families describe getting an award of DLA as life changing as it gives them choices.”

What our DLA month is all about

During this We Love DLA month, Contact will be highlighting all the amazing resources we have to help families claim DLA. We know that it’s not an easy process, but we have videos, parent guides, Facebook Q&As and lots more to help you.

We’ll also be busting top myths about DLA – such as the myth that a child needs a diagnosis to claim DLA, which is just not true.

And later this month we will be asking you what you use your child’s DLA for, so please join in the conversation and let us know!

Resources to help you claim DLA

Contact has a host of resources to help families claim DLA for their child: