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Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

 

Part 1: Overview

New claims

You can only make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you’re claiming for a child under 16 – this is known as DLA for children.

Anyone over 16 must apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead of DLA.

Existing claims

PIP is gradually replacing DLA for people aged 16 to 64, even for those with an indefinite or lifetime DLA award.

Your DLA probably won’t be affected until 2015 or later but there are exceptions.

Use the PIP checker to find out if and when you’re affected by PIP.

 

 

2. DLA rates

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is tax-free benefit.

The rate you get is made up of 2 components (parts). How much you get depends on how your disability or health condition affects you.

Care component

Care component Weekly rate Level of help you need
Lowest £21.55 Help for some of the day or with preparing cooked meals
Middle £54.45 Frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night or someone to help you while on dialysis
Highest £81.30 Help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you’re terminally ill

Mobility component

Mobility component Weekly rate Level of help you need
Lower £21.55 Guidance or supervision outdoors
Higher £56.75 You have any other, more severe, walking difficulty

How you’re paid

DLA is usually paid every 4 weeks.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg your bank account.

Extra help

You could get extra benefits or tax credits if you get Disability Living Allowance – check with the Disability benefits helpline or the office dealing with your benefit.

 

Part 3: Eligibility

Usually, to qualify for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults you must:

  • have been aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013
  • have made your claim before 10 June 2013
  • need help looking after yourself and or have walking difficulties (see below)

Your condition

Your disability or health condition must mean one or both of the following are true:

  • you need help looking after yourself
  • you have walking difficulties

You must tell DWP if your circumstances change, eg your condition improves or you need more help.

Care component

You might get this part of DLA if you:

  • need help with things like washing, dressing, eating, using the toilet or communicating your needs
  • need supervision to avoid putting yourself or others in danger
  • need someone with you when you’re on dialysis
  • can’t prepare a cooked main meal

You can get this care part if no-one is actually giving you the care you need, or you live alone.

Mobility component

You might get this part of DLA if, when using your normal aid, you:

  • can’t walk
  • can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort
  • could become very ill if you try to walk

You might also get it if you:

  • have no feet or legs
  • are assessed as 100% blind and at least 80% deaf and you need someone with you when outdoors
  • are severely mentally impaired with severe behavioural problems and get the highest rate of care for DLA
  • need supervision most of the time when walking outdoors
  • are certified as severely sight impaired and you were aged between 3 and 64 on 11 April 2011

Assessments

You might get a letter saying you need to attend an assessment to check the level of help you need. The letter explains why and where you must go. Your benefit may be stopped if you don’t go.

At the assessment, you’ll be asked for identification. You can use a passport or any 3 of the following:

  • birth certificate
  • a full driving licence
  • life assurance policy
  • bank statements

 

 

4. Your DLA claim

New claims

Only children under 16 can apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – anyone over 16 must apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

Existing claims: moving from DLA to PIP

Use the PIP checker to find out if and when your DLA will be affected by PIP.

Your DLA probably won’t be affected until 2015 or later but there are exceptions.

Exceptions

You’ll be invited to claim PIP if either:

  • there’s a change in how your condition affects you
  • your Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is due to end

This applies if you live in:

  • Wales
  • East Midlands
  • West Midlands
  • East Anglia

This also applies if your postcode begins with:

  • DG (Dumfries and Galloway)
  • EH (Edinburgh)
  • TD (Galashiels)
  • ML (Motherwell)
  • CA (Carlisle)
  • DL (Darlington)
  • HG (Harrogate)
  • LA (Lancaster)
  • YO (York)

In these areas changes to your circumstances can also affect when you’ll be invited to claim PIP.

When you apply for PIP

You can apply for PIP when asked (even if you get an indefinite or lifetime DLA award). Your DLA will continue for at least 28 days after the decision is made about your PIP claim.

Your DLA will end if you decide not to apply.

Change of circumstance

You must contact the Disability benefits helpline as soon as your circumstances change, eg your condition improves or you need more help. These changes can affect how much Disability Living Allowance (DLA) you get.

Your DLA won’t usually be affected if you go:

  • into hospital or a care home for less than 4 weeks
  • abroad for less than 13 weeks
  • abroad for less than 26 weeks to get medical treatment for a condition which began before you left

Appeal a decision

You can appeal a decision about your Disability Living Allowance if you’re unhappy with it.

Other relevant links

 

Last updated: 15 May 2014

 

 

 Updated 5 February 2014

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://operationfatherhood.org/dwp/disability-living-allowance/