DLA can mean extra money on top of your normal family income, if your child has extra care needs and /or problems with walking. It is non-means tested (it's the same whatever your income), tax free and does not affect any other allowances you receive for your child. DLA is made up of two components: Care and Mobility. Each component is paid at a different rate.
The two components are:
- Care is paid on Lower, Middle or Higher Rate according to the care needs of the child. The Mobility Component is paid at just two different rates, a Lower or Higher Rate, according to your child's mobility.
- Mobility is only available to children once they are three years old. However, if you've got a child with additional needs who already receives DLA, you may be invited to apply three months before their third birthday.
The forms are long and can be rather daunting, so you might want to ask someone to help fill them in. It's also a really good idea to photocopy the completed forms before you return them. Forms can go missing and often parents must reapply after a period of time.
Getting DLA often opens doors to further information and services
Child Disability Payment (CDP) for those who live in Scotland
Social Security Scotland now have their own equivalent disability benefit for children, which is replacing DLA. All new claimants in Scotland will be claiming the CDP instead. The rules are very similar to Disability Living Allowance, but there are some differences and you may be able to claim a higher rate of the mobility component based on sight loss.
How to make a claim for DLA or CDP for your child
If you live in England or Wales, you can 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.
If you live in Scotland call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 or access the claim form online.
If you live in Northern Ireland, call the Benefits Enquiry Line on 0800 220 674 or textphone 028 9031 1092. You can also visit the NIDirect website.
Our factsheets on DLA and CDP have lots of useful tips about what information to include on your application form, so that you can make the most effective claim for DLA or CDP. See our factsheet on Benefits for children.