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Disability Living Allowance and other benefits

Thursday 16th April 2015

As part of our Counting the Costs campaign to stop families going without the basics like food and heating, we're encouraging parents to find out about the benefits they might be entitled to.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) helps cover the extra costs that result from having a disability and is the main benefit for disabled children. Getting DLA can also lead to an increase in other benefits or help you qualify for other entitlements.

DLA and Carer's Allowance

If your child receives the middle or the highest rate of the DLA care component, you may be able to get Carer's Allowance if you meet certain other tests. Find out more on our Carer's Allowance page.

DLA and tax credits

Child Tax Credit is assessed more generously when a child receives DLA. This is because families will qualify for an extra disability element (and a severe disability element if your child has been awarded the highest rate DLA care component). This means your tax credits should increase by at least £60 per week. You get an extra disability element for each child in your family who gets DLA.

Visit our tax credits page to find out more. Many families are currently missing out because they have never told the Tax Credits Office that they get DLA for their child.

DLA and Income Support (IS)

If you have been claiming IS since before 2004, your award may still include amounts for your children as an alternative to you getting tax credits.

If this applies to you then getting DLA means an extra disabled child premium (or enhanced disability premium if your child gets the highest rate of the care component) is added to your IS payments. You will need to let the office dealing with the IS claim know about the DLA award. Read our DLA parent guide [PDF], page 37, to find out more.

Help with rent and council tax

If you get Housing Benefit or support with council tax, getting DLA for your child may lead to extra benefit if you are not already getting your rent and council tax met in full. Both Housing Benefit and support with council tax are means-tested so any award will depend on your other income and circumstances. Read our DLA parent guide [PDF], page 37, to find out more.

DLA and the Bedroom Tax

If your housing benefit is being restricted under the Bedroom Tax or local housing allowance rules, getting DLA care component for your child may help.

Your housing benefit payments will be reassessed to treat you as needing an individual bedroom for any child whose disabilities prevent them from sharing AND who gets DLA care component at the middle or higher rate. This means you may get more help with your rent. See our Bedroom Tax page.

DLA and Universal Credit

If you receive Universal Credit and a child who is included in your Universal Credit claim gets DLA, you will qualify for extra Universal Credit payments. Visit our Universal Credit page.

Exemption from benefit cap

If you have a dependent child (that is, a child aged under 16, or aged 16-19 if they are still treated as part of your family for benefit claims) who is in receipt of DLA, you will be exempt from the 'benefit cap' which restricts the total amount of benefit payments that an out of work family can receive to £500 per week.

Other entitlements

If your child is awarded the highest rate of the DLA mobility component:

  • you should qualify for a Blue Badge for parking
  • you can lease a care through the Mobility Scheme (as long as there are 12 months left of the DLA award)
  • you may be exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty.

To find out more, call our freephone helpline on 0808 808 6555

Related information