Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in 2022: how to get it

14 November 2022 by Robin - 9 minutes of reading time

dla 2022

What is the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and can it help me and my child pay for expenses? The DLA is a benefit for disabled people under the age of 16 with mobility issues, paid to their parental figure to help with day to day expenditures. This Your Benefits article will walk you through everything you need to know, including what it is, who is eligible, and how to apply to Disability Living Allowance.

What is dla?

The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a disability benefit that can help you with the expenses required for taking care of a child who:

  • Is younger than 16;
  • Cannot easily walk, has limited mobility or requires to be looked after much more than a child of the same age without a disability.
The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit that offers extra money and can be received for those younger than 16 years old. If you are between 16 and State Pension age, you need to skip to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Over State Pension age, you can get the Attendance Allowance (AA).

What illnesses qualify for disability living allowance?

You could be under 16 years old, or have a child that is under 16 years old. If that is the case, you could or they could be eligible for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This is true if they have the following illness or condition:

  • Cystic Fibrosis;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Asthma;
  • Arthritis;
  • Metabolic Disease;
  • Diabetes Mellitus;
  • Psychosis;
  • Haemophilia;
  • AIDS;
  • Being Blind or Deaf;
  • Frailty;
  • Haemodialysis.
These are only a few conditions that will make you eligible for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). However, it is not a complete list. Indeed, there many more conditions that would make you eligible.

How much is dla?

What is DLA?

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) can earn you between £23.70 and £152.15 per week depending on your child’s needs.

If you are an adult and already get this benefit, this might end. If so, you will receive a letter telling exactly when the benefit will end as well as how to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

What happens when my child turns 16?

Once they turn 16, they will then need to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). For more information on the procedure your child needs to follow, read more below.

There was a change in circumstances, what do I do?

If the circumstances of the child change, you need to contact the Disability Service Centre as soon as you can. How much you get can be affected by:

  • A change of permanent address;
  • Worsening of the child’s disability;
  • Going abroad for medical treatment.

The child’s DLA will usually not be affected by being:

  • Into a local authority care home less than 28 days;
  • In the hospital;
  • Out of the country for less than 13 weeks (for less than 26 weeks, if receiving medical treatment abroad for a condition started before the child left).

How to claim dla for a child

In order to apply for DLA for a child, you must either be their parent or be taking care of them as if you are their parents. As such, guardians, grandparents, step-parents, foster parents or older siblings can claim DLA for the child they are taking care of. To apply, you can do one of the following:

  • Print the DLA claim form and fill it in;
  • Ask to be sent a printed form by calling the Disability Living Allowance helpline (they can provide different formats if necessary, such as CD, large print, audio or braille).

Once you apply, and if you qualify, Disability Living Allowance will be paid from the start of your claim. You cannot enter a start date earlier than the submission date. Your Disability Living Allowance claim will start either:

  • The day the form you sent was received;
  • The day you called the helpline (if and only if you returned the form you then received within the following 6 weeks).

Once you have sent back the forms, you will usually get a response in the form of a decision letter about 80 weeks, or 40 working days, following the date that your form is received. You will be told at what date you will receive your first payment.

For children living in Scotland, the application needs to be to Child Disability Payment instead of Disability Living Allowance.

If you are receiving DLA for children, no input is necessary, you will automatically be switched from Disability Living Allowance to Child Disability Payment before the end of 2022. When this happens, Social Security Scotland will send you a letter.

Does my child qualify for disability living allowance (dla)?

In most cases, the following conditions need to apply to your child:

  • Your child is under 16;
  • They require extra help for day-to-day life or have mobility difficulties;
  • They are in England, Wales, a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. However, there might be exceptions if your child is coming from or living in the latter two. This is for when the claim is submitted. Exceptions are possible, like, for example, family of the Armed Forces;
  • They are over 3 years old, they must have lived in Great Britain for at least 6 of the last 12 months;
  • The child qualifies as habitually resident for the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands;
  • They are not subjected to immigration control.
Northern Ireland has different rules for qualification.

Concerning their disability, one of the following needs to apply:

  • Care component: they required above average looking after, compared to a child of the same age without a disability;
  • Mobility component: they have difficulties walking.
These difficulties need to have been present for at least 3 months, and expected to impact the child for at least another 6. If your child is terminally ill and not expected to live more than 6 months, however, the conditions do not need to have been present for 3 months.

Dla care component

How much is DLA?

If your child requires looking after, they might qualify to one of the three levels of the care component:

  • Lowest: they require help for some of the day;
  • Middle: they require frequent or constant help during the day, at night or need someone else’s help while undergoing dialysis;
  • Highest: they require help both during the day and the night, or they are terminally ill.

Dla mobility component

The mobility component is impacted both by how much help the child requires to move around, as well as their age. The two levels for the mobility aspect are:

  • Lowest: the child is able to walk. However, they need either help or supervision whenever they are outside;
  • Highest: they are unable to walk, experience severe discomfort whenever they walk a short distance, can become seriously ill if they attempted to walk, or if the child is severely sight impaired or blind.

These are also impacted by age:

  • For the lowest rate, the child must be 5 years old or older;
  • For the highest rate, the child must be 3 years old or older.

If you claim Disability Living Allowance while your child is younger than these ages, you should receive the material necessary to claim DLA 6 month before they turn either 3 or 5. If you believe your child qualifies for the mobility component, you will then be able to apply for it.

What is disability living allowance for adults

Adults cannot apply to DLA for themselves. The child you take care of must be under the age of 16.

Disability Living Allowance can only be claimed for disabled people younger than 16. If you are in a different situation, you can:

  • Apply for PIP if you are 16 or older and are not State Pension age;
  • Apply for Attendance Allowance (AA) if you do not receive DLA if you are State Pension age or older.
Disability benefits eligibility by age in 2022
Age Benefit
From birth until 16 years old Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
From 16 years old until State Pension age Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
State Pension age or older Attendance Allowance (AA)

Am I at risk of losing my dla if I am over 16 and relied on it?

If you were born on or before 8 April 1948, no. You will keep getting Disability Living Allowance as long as your eligibility (other than age) stands. If you were born after 8 April 1948, yes. You will receive a letter informing you when your DLA will end. You will keep earning the benefit until that date. 

If you apply to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you will have to do it within 28 days of receiving the letter. You will continue to receive DLA until at least 28 days until a decision is made about your PIP application.

If you qualify for PIP, you will receive PIP payments as soon as your DLA payments end.

My situation changed, what should I do?

If you have a change of circumstances, you must notify the Disability Service Centre, as it might affect the amount of DLA you receive. Here are a few examples of a change of circumstances, you:

  • Have a condition or required amount of help changes;
  • Are hospitalized for more than 4 weeks;
  • Are put into a care home for more than 4 weeks;
  • Travel abroad more than 13 weeks;
  • Are held in detention or imprisoned.

Additional reasons for which you must contact the Disability Service Centre:

  • Your name, address or bank details change;
  • You wish to no longer receive your benefit payments;
  • Your doctor(‘s details) change.

A change in circumstances might result in you having to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Do not provide false information or fail to report a change in circumstances. Doing so might result in you being taken to court.

I have been paid too much. What should I do?

You might need to pay back received benefits if the following applies, you:

  • Did not report a change in circumstances fast enough;
  • Provided wrong information;
  • Were mistakenly overpaid.
Lastly, if you believe a decision was unjust or inaccurate to your situation, you can do what is called a “mandatory reconsideration”, and challenge a decision.

You should not contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Instead, you need to contact the DLA helpline or Citizens Advice.

Citizens Advice’s VAT number is GB 162 4561 17. They also have a registered charity number. If you are registered in England or Wales, they may improve your experience. On their website, the navigation can skip to the content that matters for you. Lastly, it is not a company limited by the guarantee of regular companies.
Autres questions fréquentes

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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Your questions
  • Jill Hompson

    i had asked for my daughter to claim a carers allowance for herself for her father my husband and her claim has been accepted.I now get a letter telling me that I am not entitled to claim because I no longer look after him the problem is I have never to the best of my knowledge had a carer’s allowance. nor applied for oneMy basic state pension is £85 a week pre ’97 additional state pension 71 p a week post additional state pension £7-04 a week and graduated retirement benefit a week in total my income is £92-90p a week.No where do I see the words “carer’s benefit” on any paperwork from the Pension service.My council tax has been altered and my daughter has already received a payment as a carer which she has spent.My husband and I do not wish her to be a carer for him how can we rectify this mess before anymore money is paid to her and she spends it

    • Robin

      Hello Mrs. Hompson,

      Only one person can claim Carer’s Allowance per person cared for. As such, that is likely why you received a letter saying you cannot claim this benefit for caring for your husband.

      Additionally, since you asked your daughter to claim, I am assuming that she indicated that she was his carer, at your request. As such, she is within her right to receive the money, and there isn’t much that can be done to keep her from receiving it if she indeed cares for him.

      The best you can do is contact the office that pays your benefit.

      Hope this helps,

  • gralion torile

    Thank you for another great article. Where else could anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

    • Robin


      Thank you so much! I am glad that you found this helpful.

      Have a good day,

  • Oana Burlacu



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