Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is money for people
who have care needs, and/or mobility needs (difficulty getting
DLA is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment
(PIP) for people aged 16-64. How this affects your claim depends on
where you live. See our Personal
Independence Payment sheet for further details.
Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and
Age rules: You must be 16 or over but under 65
when you first claim.
If you have a child with an illness, injury or disability, see
Disability Living Allowance - claiming for
children. If you are 65 or over see Attendance Allowance
Type of benefit: Non means tested
Administered by: Pension, Disability and Carers
You can read through this information sheet, or go directly to
the sections you want to read by clicking on these links:
Who does it help?
If you have extra care and/or mobility needs as a result of a
disability, you could get DLA.
You must have had these care and/or mobility needs for at least
three months before you claim DLA and expect to have them for at
least six months after.
If you have care needs, it means you need help with things like
getting dressed, going to the toilet or cooking a main meal for
yourself. Or you must be supervised so you do not get
hurt. It could include help outside the home. It does not
matter if you do not actually get this help as long as you can show
you need it.
If you have mobility needs, it means you cannot walk or you walk
with difficulty. Or you cannot walk outdoors or on an
unfamiliar route without help from someone else most of the time.
This can be because of a physical or mental disability.
It does not matter if you do not actually get this help, as long as
you can show you need it.
If you have a severe visual impairment, you will also be
assessed on your mobility needs and you may qualify for the higher
rate of the mobility part of DLA. See How much does it pay
Rules for people who have a terminal
If you have a terminal illness, there are special rules to help
you get the care amount in DLA without delay. If your doctors say
that you are terminally ill and you are reasonably expected to die
within six months, you can get the highest rate care amount in DLA
straight away - you do not have to have care needs for three months
before you claim or expect to have them for six months after. You
will need to ask your doctor/healthcare professional for a form
called a DS 1500 and fill in the special rules section of the DLA
If you have difficulty walking, you must also fill in the
mobility section of the form.
Another person, such as your partner, relative or friend, can
apply for DLA on your behalf without your knowledge under the
special rules. Even if someone else makes the claim for you, the
money will be paid to you.
How much does it pay?
There are two parts of DLA. You could get either or both
Care component: This is paid at one of three
different weekly rates depending on your care needs:
Mobility component: This is paid at one of two
different weekly rates, depending on how difficult it is for you to
If you receive DLA you also qualify for a Christmas Bonus
each year. This is usually £10. You do not need to make a
claim for the bonus it is paid automatically. It does not affect
any other benefits you might get.
If you qualify for the higher rate of the mobility part of
DLA, you could also get help to buy or lease a car under the
How do I make a claim?
Claim online at the
Department for Work and Pensions website (link opens in a new
Phone the Benefit Enquiry Line:
Telephone: 0800 88 22 00
Textphone: 0800 24 33 55
a claim form from the Gov.UK website (link opens in a new
Phone the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882200 for a claim
In Northern Ireland
Phone the Benefit Enquiry Line for a claim form:
Telephone: 0800 22 06 74
Textphone: 0800 24 37 87
Phone the Disability and Carer’s Service for a claim form:
Telephone: 028 9090 6182
Textphone: 0800 24 37 87
a claim form from the NI Direct website (link opens in a new
Can it be backdated?
A claim for DLA cannot be backdated. The date of your claim will
be the date you call and ask for a claim form as long as you
complete and return it in the time given. If you download a claim
it will be the date your completed claim form is received.
The period of your award
If you are awarded DLA, the award will run for
either a fixed period (eg from 10 July 2012 to 9 July 2014) or will
Most initial awards are for a fixed period.
You will be invited to re-claim before the award expires.
You will have to claim the new Personal Independence Payment
(PIP) instead of DLA if your award expires
after October 2013.
Even if you have an indefinite award, the PDCS
may randomly select your claim for a periodic review. This is where
they send you a review form to check if your condition or need for
help has changed.
If you disagree with the decision made on your benefit claim you
can ask for a written statement of reasons. If you still believe
the decision is wrong, for example due to incorrect information
being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or
The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one
month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and
Further information on Challenges and
Change of circumstance
You must report changes in your circumstances
which might affect your entitlement to this benefit.
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Help to buy or lease a car (Motability)
There is a scheme called Motability available to you if you, or
your child, are getting the higher rate
mobility component of DLA.
This helps you to buy a car on hire purchase or lease one as the
hire purchase or lease payments are covered by your DLA
high rate mobility component which is usually paid direct to
You usually have to pay a deposit but might get help to pay
If you lease the car, then insurance,
breakdown cover, and repairs are included. Mileage up to a certain
limit is included in the price as well.
If you cannot drive, or prefer not to drive, you can name up to
two other people as drivers
Motability also offers a contract hire scheme for powered
wheelchairs or scooters.
For more information, see the Motability
website (link opens in a new window) or phone: 0845 456
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- For general enquiries about DLA, you can call the Benefit
Enquiry helpline on: 0800 882 200
- Once you have made a claim for DLA, you can get further advice
from the Disability Living Allowance/Attendance Allowance Helpline
who should have access to your records. You can call them on: 08457
Benefit Cap and Disability Living Allowance
If you, your partner or your child receive Disability
Living Allowance, you will be exempt from the Benefit Cap.
Last updated: 8 April 2013