Call our free helpline0808 808 3555
Call our free helpline
0808 808 3555
Watch our video challenging the myths around eligibility
for Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is the main benefit for children
and adults with a condition or disability. DLA helps to meet the
extra costs that you might have as a result of your child's
You can claim DLA even if your
child does not have a diagnosis. It is sufficient that they
have some form of disability even if this has not yet been formally
DLA is made up of two components. Depending on their
circumstances your child may qualify for one or both.
If your child needs a lot of extra watching over or help with
personal care, they should qualify for the care component of
The care component is paid at one of three different rates
depending on how much extra care your child needs. It can be paid
from age three months or from birth if a child is terminally
The mobility component is paid to children who need help getting
around. It is paid at one of two rates depending on the nature of
the mobility problems.
The lower rate mobility component can be paid from age five. It
is for children who need extra guidance or supervision out of
The higher rate mobility component can be paid from age three.
It is for those with severe walking difficulties, those who are
deaf blind or severely visually impaired and some children with
severe behavioural problems.
DLA is not means-tested so it does not matter what income or
savings you have. Any decision to award DLA will be based on how
your child's condition impacts on their day to day life.
Your child will also have to meet certain rules linked to their
immigration status and the length of time they have lived in the
There are some specific rules that allow some children with
learning difficulties or autistic spectrum disorders to qualify for
the high rate mobility component. Read our free parent guide
Disability living allowance - claiming the higher rate mobility
component for children with learning disabilities and Autism
Spectrum disorders [PDF].
Payment of DLA can be affected by stays in residential
DLA used to be affected by stays in hospital, but the DLA
hospital rules have now been scrapped for children under 18. So
long as your child was under 18 when they entered hospital, they
can claim and receive DLA (or Personal Independent Payment) as
normal despite the fact they are an in-patient.
Read more information about
DLA and children in hospital.
The weekly rates from April 2017 - March 2018 are:
Lowest care - £22.00
Middle care - £55.65
Highest care - £83.10
The mobility component weekly rates from April 2017 - March 2018
Lower mobility - £22.00
Higher mobility: £58.00
There is a specific form that is used for claiming DLA for a
When claiming it is very important to put as much information as
you can about your child's needs. Any information provided by a
professional involved with your child's care may also help. If a
child has a terminal illness a claim can be made under 'special
our helpline for more details.
Order a claim form from the DLA Unit by calling 0800 121 4600,
or for Northern Ireland call 0800 587 0912.
We have put together some tips and advice on completing the more
difficult parts of the DLA1A Child form.
If possible get specialist advice from a welfare benefits
adviser or someone else who is familiar with completing the
Our national freephone helpline can put you in
touch with local help to complete the form. Call 0808 808 3555
today to find out more.
We recommend that you keep a diary for a week before tackling
the form. This will be used for providing evidence of your child's
Getting DLA can help you qualify for extra amounts of other
means-tested benefits and tax credits.
You are eligible for extra child tax credits if either your
child is awarded DLA or an existing DLA award is increased to the
higher rate care component.
Tell the tax credits office within one month of getting the DLA
decision and any extra tax credits should be backdated in line with
the DLA award.
The government is currently replacing DLA for 16-65 year olds
with a new benefit called the Personal Independence
Payment. However DLA will continue to apply to children aged
This information was written by our invaluable Family Finances
Helpline team. Although all our information is free to access, we
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