Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

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Disability Living Allowance - sometimes referred to as DLA - is a tax-free benefit for children under the age of 16 and existing claimants over the age of 65 as of 8 April 2013 who need help with personal care or have walking difficulties because they are physically or mentally disabled.
This information is a guide only. The office dealing with your claim can answer any questions you may have about claiming and receiving Disability Living Allowance.

As of June 2013 DLA has been replaced with Personal Independence Payment (PIP).  For more information see  www.papaa.org/articles/personal-independence-payment

Who can get Disability Living Allowance?

You may get Disability Living Allowance if:

  •  you have a physical or mental disability, or both
  •  your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or you have walking difficulties, or both
  •  you are under 16

You can get Disability Living Allowance whether or not you work and it isn’t usually affected by any savings or income you may have.

To get Disability Living Allowance you must be in Great Britain, or be treated as living here, and meet certain other conditions about your residence and presence.

You must:

  • be normally resident in Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales), and
  • not be subject to immigration control, and
  • be in Great Britain when you make your claim, and
  • have been in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey for at least 26 weeks out of the last 52 weeks (the period is 13 weeks for babies under 6 months old and does not apply at all for people paid under special rules).

Time spent living in another European Economic Area country may in some cases be treated as a period in Great Britain for the purposes of the 26-week rule.

How much do you get?

Disability Living Allowance has two parts called 'components':

  • a care component - if you need help looking after yourself or supervision to keep you safe
  • a mobility component - if you can't walk or need help getting around

Some people will be entitled to receive just one component; others may get both.
The care component and mobility component are paid at different rates depending on how your disability affects you.

Who can get Attendance Allowance?

You may get Attendance Allowance if:

  • you have a physical or mental disability, or both
  • your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself

To get Attendance Allowance, your disability must be severe enough for you to need:

  • help with things such as washing (and getting in or out of the bath or shower), dressing, eating, getting to and using the toilet, or communicating your needs, or
  • supervision to avoid putting yourself or others in substantial danger, for example, needing someone to keep an eye on your medical condition or diet, or
  • someone with you when you are on dialysis

How much do you get?

There are two rates of Attendance Allowance depending on how your disability affects you:

  • the lower rate, if you need help or supervision frequently throughout the day only, or during the night only or someone with you when you are on dialysis
  • the higher rate, if you need help or supervision throughout the day and during the night

You can get Attendance Allowance even if no one is actually giving you the care you need - even if you live alone.

This information is abbreviated from information provided by UK Department for Works and Pensions. Full details can be obtained from your local office.