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Disability Living allowance

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

  • is under 16

  • has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability

There are many children who have a spectrum disorder that may qualify for a payment, but the rates and duration will depend on that individual's difficulties.

The DLA payment is split into two parts: Care Component and Mobility Component. You may receive either or both fo these. Below is the break down of the payments and their rates.

Care component (weekly rate)

  • Lowest - (help for some of the day) £23.20

  • Middle-  (frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night or someone to help while they’re on dialysis)  £58.70

  • Highest- (help or supervision throughout both day and night, or they’re terminally ill) £87.65

Mobility component (Weekly rate)

  • Lower - ( they can walk but need help and or supervision when outdoors) £23.20

  • Higher- (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, severely sight impaired) £61.20

Payments are made every 4 weeks.

To be entitled to DLA your 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, such as 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

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

  • they need much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability

  • 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 (that is, not expected to live more than 6 months), they do not need to have had these difficulties for 3 months.

Making a Claim

To begin to make a claim you will need to contact DWP's DLA line on:

Telephone: 0800 121 4600
Textphone: 0800 121 4523
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 4600
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 7.30 pm

You will be asked a series of questions to make sure you are applying for the correct benefit these questions will include:

  • Childs name and age

  • Registered GP practice

  • Any support or therapies they currently receive

  • Permanent address and whether they are in any residential placements

You will normally receive your form within 2 weeks of this phonecall. On your form there will be a return by date. it is important to return your form by this date otherwise your claim may not be processed.

The claim form will contain a number of questions, some about general information about you, your child and their condition. the latter part of the questionnaire will focus on your child's difficulties and the help and support they need to complete everyday tasks such as washing and bathing, Eating and Drinking and sleeping.

It is important to write down as much information in these sections as possible and how they relate to your child's disability/condition. For help in completing this form, you can download the free guide by Cerebra. This excellent resource will take you through each question giving pointers and making sure you include all the relevant information required.

Download the free Cerebra Disability Living Allowance Guide

Just some tips:

  • Get medical evidence from all Paediatricians, GPs, ADHD Nurses, School Nurses 

  • Get reports from Occupational therapists, Educational Psychologists

  • Get School observation reports using Specialist Resource Bases, Short Stay Schools for Norfolk, Autistic Spectrum Disorder Specialist support assistance team  

Make sure you send photocopies and put your child’s reference number on the top of each one submitted. Keep a copy of your completed form. This has a number of benefits, such as providing all the information relevant to your claim should you need to appeal against a decision or ask for a review. It will also help when the benefit award period ends and your claim is renewed since you have to fill in a renewal form giving almost the same information all over again

Appealing the decision

If you do not get the response you had hoped for or think you were entitled to you can appeal the decision of any DLA claim.

The first thing you need to do is ask the DWP to look at your claim again, this is called a 'Mandatory Reconsideration.' At this stage, you are able to submit new evidence that you think would help to support your claim for DLA payments.

If the Mandatory reconsideration does not produce the results you believe you are entitled fro you may then ask an independent panel to look at the decision, also known as a Tribunal.

You can appeal against any decision made about the DLA claim for your child. Some of the most common reasons are if:

  • you didn’t get awarded DLA

  • you got a lower rate of DLA than you expected

The tribunal can’t consider whether your child's condition has got worse since the decision you’re challenging was made. If your child's condition does change and they need more care or supervision, then you’ll have to make a new claim.

To appeal to a tribunal, you’ll need:

  • your letter from the DWP with the words ‘Mandatory Reconsideration Notice’ at the top - if you’ve lost it, ask them for a new one

  • to send your appeal form in within 1 month of the date shown on the mandatory reconsideration notice

The process can be draining but it’s worth remembering that many DLA decisions are overturned by the tribunal. It’s worth appealing to a tribunal if you think their decision is wrong.

it is advisable to get help when making a claim for the tribunal, this can be provided by your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB. For more information about making a claim to tribunal please visit their website

Published 04/11/2019

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