Seven reasons to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA): podcast transcript

Podcast: Seven reasons to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Hi, my name is Mia, and I’m a parent adviser at Contact. I want to tell you about 7 good reasons why you should think about claiming Disability Living Allowance for your disabled child.

Disability Living Allowance, or DLA for short, is the main benefit for disabled children. It’s paid to help families offset the extra costs in bringing up a child with a disability.

However, if your child is awarded DLA, you won’t necessarily only get DLA. It can also act as a gateway to other types of financial help. Here are seven reasons why you could be better off claiming DLA.

Reason one: Extra tax credits or Universal Credit payments.

if you’re a family on Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit, you’ll start to get extra payments for a child who’s on DLA. Your payments will increase by anything from £29 to £90 a week, depending on the rate of DLA your child gets. This extra money is on top of the DLA you already receive, so make sure that the office paying you tax credits or Universal Credit knows that your child is on DLA.

Reason two: Access to benefits as a carer.

Depending on the rates of DLA awarded, you might start to be treated as a carer under the benefits system.

For example, you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance as your child’s carer. Or if you’re getting Universal Credit, you can become exempt from having to take any steps to look for any work as condition of your claim.

Reason three: Help with getting around.

If your child’s rewarded the higher rate of DLA mobility component, they’ll automatically be eligible for the Blue Badge disabled parking scheme – so long as their DLA award has at least one year left to run.

You’ll also have the option of using the mobility money to lease a new car under the Motability scheme.

You can also get road tax exemption for a car that is substantially used to meet your disabled child’s needs.

Reason four: Exemption from the benefit cap.

If you’re an out-of-work family and are affected by the household benefit cap, getting DLA for a child means that you become exempt and the cap stops being applied to your benefits.

Reason five: Bedroom tax.

If you are affected by the bedroom tax because your child’s condition stops them sharing a bedroom, getting DLA at certain rates can lead to an increase in the amount of housing benefit that you get.

Reason six: Help with heating bills.

Low-income families who have a child on DLA can apply for a Warm Home Discount. This is a rebate of £140.00 on your winter fuel bill.

Reason seven: Help with childcare.

If you are a working family who use tax free childcare, you’ll be eligible for more help from the government if your child has DLA.

In England, you should also be able to access 15 hours free childcare from the age of two, rather than three for a child who is on DLA.

You can find much more information about DLA and these other types of financial help on our website at

Thanks for listening.