What is Disability Living Allowance?
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a beneﬁt to help with extra costs if a child under 16 has a
disability, illness or health condition severe enough they:
l need much more looking after than a child of the same age without a disability, or
l have walking difficulties, or both
You may not think of the child as being disabled, but if they need the type of help explained in
these notes, they may get DLA.
Who can claim DLA for a child?
You can claim DLA for a child as long as you look after them as if you are their parent. ‘Parent’
includes step-parents, guardians, grandparents, foster-parents, and even older brothers
DLA is tax-free. You can claim even if you work or if your family has savings or money coming in.
Can I get DLA for a child?
To get DLA a child must normally:
l live in and be present in Great Britain or, live in the European Economic Area or Switzerland and
the United Kingdom (UK) is responsible for paying them sickness beneﬁts or
l be allowed to enter or stay in the UK and not be stopped from getting beneﬁts or
l need extra looking after or have walking difﬁculties or
l need much more day-to-day help than children of the same age and
l have had these needs for at least 3 months and these needs are likely to last for at least
another 6 months unless you are claiming for them under the special rules
The special rules are explained in the claim form on page 2.
When can I claim DLA for a child?
You can claim straight away. We will deal with the claim as soon as possible.
How is DLA worked out?
There are two parts of DLA – mobility and care. A child can get money for one part or both. The
official word for these parts is ‘component’.
You may see the word ‘component’ in forms and letters. How much they get is based on how
much help they need, not their disability or health condition.
There are two mobility rates.
For a child aged 5 or over who can walk but needs extra help from someone to guide or
supervise them to get around outdoors in places they don’t know well.
For a child aged 3 or over who, because of a physical disability:
l cannot walk at all or
l can walk, but their ability to walk outdoors without severe discomfort is so limited they can be
considered virtually unable to walk or
l can walk but the effort needed could seriously affect their health.
A child may also get the higher rate if they:
l have had both legs amputated above the ankle or through the ankle, or were born without
legs or feet or
l are certiﬁed as severely sight impaired or blind and meet other conditions relating to their
sight loss or
l are deaf and blind and they need someone with them when they are outdoors or
l are severely mentally impaired with severe behavioural problems and qualify for the highest
rate of the care part
By ‘extra’ we mean much more than a child of the same age without a disability.