Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit aimed at helping you meet the extra costs of a disability
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is gradually replacing DLA for people of working age (16 to state pension age), although DLA remains for adults in Northern Ireland. On this page we focus on DLA for children and tell you if your child could be eligible, how much it is worth and how to claim it.
DLA aims to help you meet the extra cost of the care that your disabled child may need and the added expense of getting out and about. For this reason, it is made up of two components: a care component and a mobility component. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) administers it.
Lots of blind and partially sighted children receive this benefit, and we would encourage you to apply on behalf of your child. DLA is tax free, is not means-tested and it wont affect any other benefits you already receive, so there really is nothing to lose by making a claim!
To make a new claim for DLA, your child must:
Your child will not have to satisfy the past presence test if they have a terminal illness.
The rules for habitual residency and the past presence test are complicated and there are some exceptions (if you live in a European Economic Area country, fo example), so contact our Helpline if you think you may have difficulty passing these tests.
If your claim is successful, you could get a payment for the care component or the mobility component, or both. Each component has different rates according to how much help the DWP feels your child needs. Many blind or partially sighted children receive at least the lower rates of the two components, but the DWP may award you more or less than this based on your application.
The care component is made up of three rates:
The mobility component is made up of two rates:
You might be able to claim Carer's Allowance on top of the middle and higher rate components of DLA if you care for your child for more than 35 hours a week.
Call the DWP’s DLA Helpline on 0345 712 3456 and ask for a claim pack. The Helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. If you use a textphone, the number is 0345 722 4433.
You can also access the DLA claim form online.
Our factsheet has lots of useful tips about what information to include on your application form, so that you can make the most effective claim for DLA:
The DWP will invite your child to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if they receive DLA and are approaching 16. When your child is:
If you would like to speak to one of our trained benefits advisers about applying for DLA on behalf of a blind or partially sighted child, or how to appeal if you are unhappy with the result of your claim, please call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected].
You can also discuss your claim with the DWP by calling their DLA Helpline on 0345 712 3456.