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Disability Living Allowance

Disability living allowance (DLA) is a benefit for children Archie.JPG
and adults with a condition or disability. The payments
are to meet the extra costs that you might have as a
result of your child's disability. DLA has two components
Care and mobility.

The care component - for children who need extra attention or
supervision. This is paid at one of three different rates lower
middle or higher. The rate you receive depends on how much
extra care your child needs. It can be paid from age three
months or from birth if a child is terminally ill. The DLA will
compare your child's needs with those of a child of the same
age with no disabilities. If your child is very young it can often
be hard to show this on the form and it is always good to seek
advice when completing the form. It is important to show on the

If your child needs substantially more attention, if the care needed takes longer or is required more frequently throughout the day and night. To qualify for the higher rate your child normally must need assistance throughout the night.

So if your child takes off their splints for instance in the night and you need to get up to put them back on, or if you need to turn your child throughout the night remember to include that on the form.The mobility component- for children who need help with getting around. There are two different rates within this component lower and higher. The higher rate mobility component can be paid from age three years and is for those with severe walking difficulties, those who are deaf blind or severely visually impaired and some children with severe behavioural problems. The lower rate mobility component is for children who need extra guidance or supervision out of doors and can be paid from age five. If you are awarded high rate mobility then you can also apply for a car through the motability scheme.

Getting DLA can help you qualify for extra amounts of other means tested benefits and tax credits. If you're getting child tax credit and your child is awarded DLA (or if an existing DLA award is increased to the highest rate for personal care), make sure you tell the tax credits office within one month of getting this DLA decision. So long as you do this, any extra tax credits should be backdated in line with the DLA award.

Claiming DLA

There is a specific form that is used for claiming DLA for a child, called DLA1 Child. This form is different to that used by adults aged 16 or above, so make sure you are given the right form to fill in.

When claiming it is very important to put as much information as you can about your child's needs. Any information provided by a professional involved with your child's care may also help.

Order a claim form from the benefits enquiry line 0800 882 200, or for Northern Ireland 0800 220 674.Apply online for a claim form

DLA for those over 16 is changing to Personal independence payment but at the moment there are no plans to change DLA for children.

For more information and how to claim visit


Handy Tips

As parents we focus on the positives and what our children can achieve. The DLA forms are about the things our children and young people can not do and this can be a very difficult thing to do. So when answering the questions think of you child/young person on a bad day and not a good day.Photocopy the form that way when it comes to renewal you have a starting point.Ask a local benefits advisor or health professional to help you complete the form.

Contact a Family produce a fact sheet to help you complete the form.

Carer's Allowance

Carer's allowance is the main benefit for carers. You qualify for this benefit if you:

Care for someone who gets the middle or highest rate of disability living allowance (DLA) or any rate of attendance allowance, a benefit for older people, and if you work, you do not earn over £100 per week (after allowable deductions such as tax, national insurance and certain childcare costs), and if you're a student, your course is not defined as full time.If you are in receipt of an other income replacement benefit like contributory employment and support allowance or retirement pension, then you may not be paid carers allowance. However, it is often still worthwhile claiming carers allowance in these circumstances as it will mean you count as a carer for means - tested benefits - and these will be calculated more generously.

Claiming carers allowance can also help protect your state pension. This is because you will receive a Class 1 National Insurance credit for every week you receive carers allowance.

Claim carer's allowance

Get a claim form from the carer's allowance unit on 0845 608 4321 or the benefits enquiry line in Northern Ireland on 0800 220 674 or apply online.

Further information

If you need more information

Benefit changes

2013 will see huge changes in our current welfare system

For more information see

Support & Advice

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Supplements and medications

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Educational needs and benefits

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Wheelchairs and equipment


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