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Disability Living Allowance for children


Is my child eligible for Disability Living Allowance?

To make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) you must be under 16. It has two components, a care component and a mobility component, and each component has different rates. Your child’s needs will be assessed to find out which rate they qualify for. They might be eligible to get one or both components.

When assessing a child’s needs, unless they are terminally ill, it is considered whether their needs are substantially more than those of a child the same age who does not have a disability. For this reason, the higher rate mobility component can only be paid from age three onwards and the lower rate from age five. There is no lower age limit for the care component.

For the mobility component, a child must be unable or virtually unable to walk because of their disability. Children who are blind or severely visually impaired, born without feet or double amputees are also eligible. Some children who have severe mental impairment or severe behavioural problems could also qualify.

For the care component, a child’s disability must lead to them needing attention with bodily functions like seeing, eating, communicating, and going to the toilet, or personal care like bathing or dressing. They may also qualify if they need supervision to prevent danger to themselves or others. How often they need this attention or supervision and whether it is during the day and/or night will decide which rate of DLA they might be awarded.

Unless your child is terminally ill, they must have had these care and/or mobility needs for at least three months and you expect them to continue for at least another six months. If you claim before your child has had the needs for three months, an award can be made and start up to three months after the decision, depending on how early you made the claim.

Disability Living Allowance is not means-tested, which means your income and savings are ignored when checking if you are entitled to this benefit for your child. It is also ignored as income when calculating entitlement to other benefits so it won’t reduce any other benefits you get. In fact, if you get Disability Living Allowance for a child you could qualify for extra amounts called disability premiums in some other benefits. It is always worth doing a new benefit check if your child becomes entitled to Disability Living Allowance.

How much DLA could I get for my child?

The care component is paid at either a low weekly rate of £24.45, a middle rate of £61.85 or a high rate of £92.40.

The mobility component is paid at either a low weekly rate of £24.45 or a high rate of £64.50.

How can I claim Disability Living Allowance?

You can print off and fill in a Disability Living Allowance claim form from the GOV.UK Disability Living Allowance webpage.

You can also ask for a claim form to be sent to you by calling the Disability Living Allowance helpline on 0800 121 4600 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. For other methods of contact see the GOV.UK website.

If you are in Northern Ireland you can print off and fill in a Disability Living Allowance claim form from NI Direct’s Disability Living Allowance webpage or you can contact the Disability and Carer’s Service and ask for a claim form to be sent to you. You can also get a claim form from your local Jobs and Benefits office.

Child Disability Payment – Scotland only

If you are in Scotland, Disability Living Allowance for children has been replaced by Child Disability Payment from Social Security Scotland, you will need to claim this instead.

Online Help and Advice

Visit our online support section where we have provided advice and guidance on a range of relevant topics to help you in your caring role.

Online support
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