Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Age 0-16

Disability Living Allowance, known as DLA for short, may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who is under 16 and who has difficulties walking or needs more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability.

DLA for children is a tax-free benefit made up of 2 components (parts). The child might qualify for one or both components. It is also not affected by your income, savings or employment status.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply see the DLA section

It is a long and complex form which you may find upsetting to fill in as it is important to reflect the impact the disabilities and needs have on the family.

It is highly recommended to get help if you can. Make sure you keep a copy before you send it back.

A local parent group that can help is;

Citizens Advice Bureau can also help- you will probably need to make an appointment.

Other helplines and national support groups maybe able to help especially if there is one related to specific disability or need a wider list is here

DLA can enable access to a wider range of benefits and support including

Carers allowance - if you care for someone receiving middle rate DLA for more than 35hours a week

DAF - Disability access funding for nurseries and pre school settings for 3 and 4 year olds

Other benefits and grants information can be found in the money and benefit section of the Local offer, and the Money Matters Guide in the downloads section and this government site.

Disabled Living Allowance (DLA)

Eligibility

The child will need to meet all the eligibility requirements. To qualify for DLA, the child must:

> be under 16

> need extra looking after or have walking difficulties

> be in Great Britain, another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland when you claim - there are some exceptions, eg family members of the Armed Forces

> have lived in Great Britain for 2 of the last 3 years, if over 3 years old

> be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

> not be subject to immigration control

There are some exceptions to these conditions if the child is living or coming from another EEA country or Switzerland.

The rules on residence don’t normally apply if a child is terminally ill.

The child’s disability or health condition

The child’s disability or health condition must mean one or both of the following apply:

1 - they need more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability

2 - they have difficulty getting about

They must have had these difficulties for at least 3 months and expect them to last for at least 6 months. If they’re terminally ill (ie not expected to live more than 6 months), they don’t need to have had these difficulties for 3 months.

Care component

The rate the child gets depends on the level of looking after they need, such as:

lowest rate - help for some of the day or night

middle rate - frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night or someone to help while they’re on dialysis

highest rate - help or supervision throughout both day and night, or they’re terminally ill

Mobility component

The rate the child gets depends on the level of help they need getting about eg:

lowest rate - they can walk but need help and or supervision when outdoors

highest rate - they can’t walk, can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, could become very ill if they try to walk or they’re blind, severely sight impaired.

Rates

The DLA rate is between £21.80 and £139.75 a week and depends on the level of help the child needs.

How to claim

Use the DLA claim form [external website] to apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children under 16. The form tells you where to send your application.

You can order a printed form by telephoning the Disability Living Allowance helpline on telephone number 0800 121 4600 or textphone 0800 121 4523 from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

It is a long and complex form which you may find upsetting to fill in as it is important to reflect the impact the disabilities and needs have on the family.

It is highly recommended to get help if you can. Make sure you keep a copy before you send it back.

Some parent groups can help including;

Our barn are very experienced and helpful, Citizens Advice Bureau can also help.

Other helplines and national support groups maybe able to help a wider list is here