Disability Living Allowance - claiming for
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is money
for people who have care needs or mobility needs (difficulty
getting around). If your child has disabilities,
you could get DLA for them.
Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and
Age rules: Your child must be under the age of
16. For the low rate mobility component they must be aged over
five, and for the high rate mobility component they must be aged
Type of benefit: Non
Administered by: Pension, Disability and Carers
Please note: if you are an adult with an
illness, injury or disability, see Disability Living Allowance
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 your child has extra care and/or mobility needs as a
result of a disability, you could get DLA for them.
Your child has care needs if they need help with ‘bodily
functions’, for example, eating, washing, getting dressed and going
to the toilet. These care needs can also include help which allows
your child to take part in social activities. Your child has
to need more care and attention than other children of the same
age. However, this extra condition only applies if your child
is under 16 when their Disability Living Allowance starts. It
no longer applies when the child reaches the age of 16.
Your child has mobility needs if they cannot walk outdoors or go
on an unfamiliar route without guidance or supervision from someone
else. For example, this might apply if your child is blind, is
unable to walk or has a lot of difficulty walking. Your child
may also be treated as having mobility needs if they have severe
learning difficulties or severe behavioural problems.
You cannot claim the mobility part of DLA before your child
reaches the age of three (for the higher rate) or five
(for the lower rate).
What help does it provide?
DLA is money that you can spend as you want for your child's
needs. It is usually paid into your bank or building society
account. You can be paid at a post office in some cases. It is
paid as long as your child has mobility or care needs.
If your child gets DLA, you might qualify for Carer’s Allowance and for help from the Motability scheme.
How much does it pay?
There are two parts of DLA. One is the care part if your
child has care needs. The other is the mobility part if they
have mobility problems. You can get either or both.
Care component: This is paid at one of three
different weekly rates depending on how much care is needed:
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.
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
What documents will I need?
You must give your national insurance number and evidence of who
you are, for example, a driving licence or birth
Part of the form must be filled in by someone who knows about
your child's disability. This could be a friend, relative or
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.
If you disagree with the decision made on your child's 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 appeal.
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 circumstance which
might affect your child's entitlement to this benefit
Help to buy or lease a car (Motability)
There is a scheme called Motability available to people who are
getting the higher rate mobility part of Disability Living
Allowance (DLA) or war pensioner’s mobility supplement.
This helps adults who qualify to buy a car on hire
purchase or lease one and parents to hire a car on behalf of a
child who is over three years of age and getting the higher
rate mobility part of DLA.
A contract hire scheme for powered wheelchairs or scooters
is also offered through Motability.
You usually have to pay a deposit but might
get help to pay this.
The hire purchase or lease payments are met by
your Disability Living Allowance high rate mobility component which
is usually paid direct to Motability.
If you lease the car, then insurance,
breakdown cover, and repairs are included. Mileage up to a certain
limit is included in the price but after that you have to pay per
mile you drive.
For more information, see the Motability
website (link opens in a new window) or phone: 0845 456
- The Benefits Enquiry helpline can give you general information
about DLA. Call them on: 0800 882 200.
- Once you have made a claim, you can get advice about DLA from
the Disability Living Allowance helpline who should have access to
your records. Call them on: 08457 123 456.
- Contact a Family, the national charity that helps families that
have a child with disabilities, has a useful fact sheet on
Living Allowance (link opens in a new window PDF file size
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 which will be introduced from April
Last updated: 8 April 2013