Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit for children who have care needs or mobility needs. DLA is for children under the age of 16. DLA has 2 parts:

Care component

Care component is for children who need extra personal care, supervision or watching over because of their disability.

This is paid at 3 different rates. The rate the child gets depends on the level of looking after they need.

Rate Level of help needed
Lowest rate Help for some of the day
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

Mobility component is for children with walking difficulties.

This is paid at 2 different rates. The rate the child gets depends on the level of help they need getting about.

Rate Level of help needed
Lowest rate They can walk but need help and or supervision when outdoors
Highest rate They cannot walk, can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, could become very ill if they try to walk, or they're blind or severely sight impaired

Is your child eligible for DLA?

To qualify for DLA your child must, unless terminally ill:

  • Pass at least one of the disability tests (discuss with the Welfare Benefits Team)
  • Be within the age limits
    • Care component – cannot normally be paid until the child is 3 months old
    • Mobility component - for the low rate mobility component the child must be aged over 5, and for the high rate mobility component they child must be aged over 3.
  • Meet the qualifying periods conditions. The need:
    • must have existed for 3 months
    • is expected to continue for 6 months
  • Not be subject to immigration control, and
  • Pass the residence and presence tests

How much DLA will my child get?

Your child may qualify for one of the 3 rates of the care component and one of the 2 rates of mobility component.

Care Component Amount per week
(2020/21)
Lowest rate £23.60
Middle rate £59.70
Highest rate £89.15
Mobility Component Amount per week
(2020/21)
Lowest rate £23.60
Highest rate £62.25

How do I claim?

The quickest way to apply for Disability Living Allowance is by phone.

Disability Living Allowance Helpline

Terminal illness

There are special rules if a child is not expected to live more than 6 months, so they can get DLA more quickly. You must:

  • complete a DLA for children claim form
  • ask a doctor or other healthcare professional for form DS1500 - they'll either fill it in and give the form to you or send it directly to DWP

DLA can only be claimed for children under 16 - anyone over 16 must apply for Personal Independence Payment.