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On this page is a brief explanation of some of the more difficult
parts of the DLA1A Child form with comments about the kind of
information to include.
It is important to read all the
questions carefully. It is also worth reading the information
booklet that comes with the form and using the 'daily diary' sheet
at pages 29-31 of the booklet.
Take your time and don't try to
finish it in one go. Give as much information as possible, and read
through the form before you send it to make sure you've answered
Please remember that a decision on
your child's claim will be made by someone who has never seen your
child and who may have little or no knowledge about your child's
condition. It is important that you make clear all the extra care
and support that your child needs - don't assume that the decision
maker will already have this understanding.
These questions gather general information
about your child including details about their identity,
nationality, disability, and details of any medical or health
professionals involved in their care. This section also asks you
about any stays your child has had in hospital or residential care
within the last 12 months.
A paid carer, relative or friend, health
care professional, social worker or a teacher can fill this in.
Ideally, it should be written by a professional with regular
involvement in your child's care, like a medical specialist, or if
your child's needs are mainly to do with learning, ask a specialist
It is very important to check that
the statement is supportive and not harmful to the claim. Copy the
blank statement page and give it to the person writing the
statement. You can attach it to your claim. If you're unhappy with
what they have said, you can ask them to change it, but if they
won't, you can ask another professional to write this part or just
leave it blank.
You don't need to enter a lot of detail
here, but make sure you write the name of each condition your child
has been diagnosed with, for example 'ADHD' or 'Down syndrome'.
If your child doesn't have a diagnosis, or
if they have difficulties separate from a diagnosis you've already
mentioned, put a general description of these too (for example
'eating and feeding problems' or 'behavioural problems').
If your child's condition varies, you can
still get DLA as long as there is a pattern of substantial care
needs or mobility problems. They might have days or weeks when they
need less help.
When filling in the form, tick any of the
boxes which apply to your child, even if it doesn't apply all the
time. You can explain more about any variation in needs in the
boxes below each set of tick box questions and at question 65 about
It is a good idea to keep a diary over a
period of a week or longer if your child's condition varies a
Use the terms 'bad days' and 'better
days' to describe the changes in your child's condition if they
have a fluctuating condition. Using terms like 'good days' or
'normal days' can imply your child needs no extra help on these
Remember, help with mobility applies to
children whose problems getting around are caused by learning or
behavioural conditions, as well as children with a physical
If your child has physical problems which
affect their walking outdoors, you should answer questions 25-31
and questions 33-36.
If your child can walk it is important to
describe how they walk (for example with a limp or shuffle).
List the effects walking has on their
condition. This may include fatigue, breathlessness or nausea, or
that walking makes their condition worse.
When assessing how far your child can walk,
remember that any distance covered after they've started to feel
severe discomfort is not counted. Ask yourself:
If your child can walk but needs guidance
or supervision, you should answer questions 32-36.
The notes on page 13 of the form suggest
that you should only complete questions 32-34 if your child is aged
five or over. But if your child is aged three or four and has
severe behavioural problems or refuses to walk, you should fill in
these questions. Some children with learning disabilities or autism
spectrum disorders can qualify for higher rate mobility because of
severe behavioural problems from age three.
Think about why your child needs more
guidance or supervision than children the same age:
Help with mobility applies to children
whose problems getting around are caused by learning or behavioural
conditions, as well as children with a physcial
Also asks about unpredictable behaviour,
the need for restraint and refusal to walk. These questions relate
to the higher rate mobility and severe behavioural problems.
If this describes your child's behaviour
then it is important to give as much detail as possible. Here are
This asks you the date your child first
started to have the problems with getting around you have
described. Your child must have had mobility problems for at least
three months before they can get any payment of the mobility
component. An exception to this is made if a child is terminally
ill under the special rules.
These sections cover the extra help your
child needs with their day-to-day care. Fill them in not only if
your child needs physical help or support but also if they need
encouragement or verbal prompting, with tasks.
Try to think about how your child's needs
differ from a child of the same age without any disabilities. Make
clear if you have to do more to help your child or if things take
longer to do.
Explain any discomfort your child
experiences because of pain or stiffness when waking up.
They may be physically unable to get out of
bed without help. Or they might not have the motivation to get up
because of their condition and need lots of reassurance and
persuasion to get out of bed. Medication may also affect your
child's sleep and waking up.
Explain if you have to get up straight away
in case they do something dangerous or are disruptive.
Think about similar difficulties when going
to bed. Your child may still be wide awake when put to bed or
refuse to settle.
Explain what help you give them to overcome
this, like comfort and reassurance techniques, or medication, or
treatments. You should also say how long this takes.
You will need to explain any difficulties
during the night at Question 53. As well as writing about what help
you give your child to stay clean and manage their continence
(washing, bathing, applying creams, changing pads, checking
clothing or changing bedding), you also need to give information
about any difficulties. These can include:
Include here a description of the help your
child needs getting around inside. For example, your child may have
mobility difficulties that mean they:
Washing and bathing includes all issues
with personal hygiene.
Your child may need extra help bathing,
washing, or showering and they might take longer than other
children of the same age. For example:
Include things like:
Here you should list any problems your
child has with sucking, chewing and swallowing, and any equipment
like a feeding tube to help overcome those difficulties. For
As well as giving details about medicines,
include any difficulties your child has receiving them or taking
them by themself (forgetfulness, discomfort, distress, side
effects). Describe how you help overcome this (encouragement and
reassurance, even after medication has been given).
As well as injections and tablets, include
information about any eye drops, creams, dressings and enemas your
Include details of any physiotherapy,
speech therapy, hydrotherapy, play therapy, counselling and
behavioural therapy. Include any exercises you have to do at
Therapy also means help with any medical
equipment. This includes nebulisers, monitoring equipment, meters,
needles for injections or blood tests, thermometers, tube feeding,
catheters and breathing equipment.
List any difficulties with using equipment,
help you give to your child and the length of time it takes.
Include time spent on preparing and cleaning equipment.
This section gathers information about the
extent of any visual impairment your child has.
As well as filling in this section, it's
important to make sure you also explain how your child's visual
impairment impacts on any of the specific areas covered in the
other parts of the form.
For example, a child with a visual
impairment may need help with dressing, with washing, teeth
brushing and looking after their appearance, help at mealtimes and
help to get around safely both indoors and outside.
Young children with a visual impairment may
also need more help in learning through play.
If a child can't see everyday objects, they
are less likely to become spontaneously curious about things around
them. As a result, you may need to spend much more time actively
introducing objects through touch or verbal description. This
should be taken into account as extra care and support.
School-age children may require help with
reading, not only school books and texts but also from boards and
projectors. They may need help in describing graphs, pictures,
charts or scientific experiments.
They may also need guidance and
supervision, not only to get to and from school but also to get
around the school and playground, and to take part in physical
If your child has a certificate of visual
impairment you should send a copy of this along with the form.
It is important to say what help your
child needs because of problems with vision or hearing. You may
have to spend more time explaining everyday things such as what is
happening on the television.
This section is to find out the extent of
your child's hearing impairment.
As well as completing the questions on the
form, it is important to explain help your child needs because of
hearing loss. You may be able to explain their need for extra help
or supervision throughout the rest of the form.
Perhaps it takes longer for your child to
receive instructions about how to carry out certain activities. You
may have to spend more time explaining everyday things such as what
is happening on the television, or bringing to their attention
certain sounds such as traffic, alarms or announcements.
Things to consider might be your child's
need for extra supervision because they can't hear danger
approaching. They may become upset easily as they don't get a
warning of when things happen.
You might have to make more effort to get
their attention so that you can speak to them face to face. They
may need help with hearing aids - taking them off, putting them on
and adjusting them.
Include any evidence from a specialist
which shows the extent of your child's hearing loss.
If your child needs help to communicate
with other people fill in questions 46-47.
A child may be unwilling to communicate
because they have a limited understanding of their environment, or
only choose to talk about things they feel are relevant to them and
are comfortable with. Your child may become angry or frustrated
trying to communicate. For example:
Write down the different ways your child is
helped with communication and what would happen without this
This applies if your child has symptoms
like fits, convulsions, fainting, dizziness, loss of consciousness,
or asthma attacks.
Explain when these attacks happen, how
often, and if there are any warning signs beforehand. What happens
during and after an attack?
Remember - if your child has attacks and
needs someone to keep an eye on them all the time, write this
This section looks at whether your child
needs someone to watch over them during the day to make sure that
they are safe and to ensure that they are not a risk to themselves
or to others.
All young children, whether disabled or
not, routinely require supervision. So the younger your child is,
the more important it is for you to say how the supervision they
need is greater, or different, to another child of their age.
Think about what could happen to your child
without regular or frequent supervision. For example:
This section includes help that your child
needs to interact with and make sense of the world around them.
For example, your child may find it
difficult to interact or play with others. This may be due to
problems with understanding or communication.
They may need to spend time on their own
because their behaviour becomes aggressive or inappropriate. This
may affect your child's development through play. They may need
help to play with other children and in how they should behave.
Any physical difficulties can also make it
harder for children to play because of difficulties with
coordination or manipulation. A visually-impaired child may need
more attention than others.
Specially adapted toys or tactile toys
don't necessarily mean difficulties with play are resolved, because
your child might need help finding or manipulating the toy,
otherwise they'll become frustrated. They might need help
maintaining their interest which means you need to give them extra
attention. Or you may need to supervise to prevent harm to your
child or other children.
This section gathers information about any
extra support, care or supervision your child needs at school or
This can include any extra support to help
them learn, but also any extra help they need to manage behaviour,
get around the school or nursery safely or to mix with other
children in the playground. You should also think about whether
they need help at school with things like using the toilet, taking
medication or having their lunch.
If your child has a statement of special
educational need, Individual Behaviour Plan, Education, Health and
Care plan, or in Scotland a co-ordinated support plan the claim
form asks you to send these (see page 6 of claim form). However, if
you feel that your child's statement or plan does not fully reflect
all of their needs it is important that you make this clear
somewhere on the claim form and highlight any other needs not
identified in the school or nursery report.
If you feel that the school report
misrepresents your child's needs you may choose not to submit it at
all. Call our freephone helpline for further advice.
Include here details of any help your child
needs when they go out during the day or night for social and
leisure activities, and any support needed for hobbies.
This includes visits to the park, clubs,
sport activities, going to the cinema, swimming, visiting
relatives, drawing, playing on the computer, and watching
television. These are just some examples and you should include any
interests that your child has and what help they need.
If there are activities your child would
like to do if only they had extra help, then list the additional
support that would be needed to allow this.
Complete this section if you have to get up
in the night to help with your child's care needs.
Night-time is the time between when you go
to bed until you get up. If you stay up later than you want to
because your child does not settle in bed, or if you get up very
early, these times also count as night-time.
These are just some examples of night-time
Use this section to say if you need to get
up at night to give comfort to your child because they wake up
upset and agitated, if they have a disturbed sleep pattern and
can't settle or if they get up and wander.
This asks you the date that your child
first started to have the care needs that you have described.
Normally your child must have needed extra
care or supervision for at least three months before they can
receive any payments of the care component. An exception to this is
made where a child is terminally ill and claiming under the special
rules - see page 8.
You may wish to use the space provided to
explain more about your child's condition and how it affects them.
For example, how their condition might vary, or how their mental
health is affected by their condition.
Any document, letter or statement can be
sent with the claim but it is very important to check that any
evidence you send accurately describes your child's needs. If it
doesn't then this may harm your claim.
Evidence can include information from a
health professional involved with your child's care, like a GP,
nurse, paediatrician, speech and language therapist, or
occupational therapist. Call the Contact a Family freephone
helpline for more information.
Giving detailed medical information may
lead to a quicker decision and reduce the chances of the Department
for Work and Pensions (DWP) arranging for more reports on your
child's condition (see section on page 6 of the form, 'Do you have
any reports, letters or assessments about the child's illnesses or
Evidence of your child's special
educational needs can also be attached (but see Question 51).
You can ask friends, carers or relatives to
give supporting evidence.
A diary of the past week giving an account
of your child's difficulties, the help you gave and how long it
took each time can be very helpful.
If you're nearing the six week deadline,
you should send the completed form off without waiting for
additional evidence. Attach a letter saying you will send more
evidence and when they can expect it.
Your claim will be assessed by a 'decision
maker.' If they're still unclear about how your child's condition
affects their care and mobility needs, they can arrange for a DWP
approved doctor to visit you to examine them and prepare a medical
report. This can lead to delays.
If you feel the claim is taking too long,
then you can make a complaint to the customer services manager at
the office dealing with your claim.
There are no specific questions in the form
about your child's mental health.
Children with disabilities, coping with
their condition, can feel frustrated, isolated and upset at times.
These can be described as mental health difficulties.
This could apply if your child is
withdrawn, anxious or depressed, behaves aggressively or gets angry
and is uncooperative. They might act impulsively, have nightmares,
or have difficulty coping with routine changes.
You may have been able to fit this into
your answers to some of the other questions but if not, then it is
important to give more details at Question 63 'Extra Information',
or as an attached sheet.
Say what the difficulties are that your
child experiences and also what help you give to overcome or
minimise their effects. You might include: