Disability Living Allowance for Children
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) can be claimed for children who require assistance with their mobility or personal care.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) can provide help with the extra costs of bringing up a disabled child. It is paid on top of any other income you may have. It also gives you access to other kinds of help.
DLA is divided into two parts:
- the care component for help with personal care is paid at three different rates depending on the level of need
- the mobility component for help with walking difficulties is paid at two rates
You can be paid both components if your child qualifies for both.
Does your child need help with personal care?
If your child:
- has breathing difficulties or loses consciousness
- has fits
- has a hearing or visual impairment, or
- you require to help them use special equipment for feeding, moving around or physiotherapy
- you assist them to use medication or to take medication
Then you may be eligible to claim for DLA. This list does not cover everything. If your child requires more care than a child of the same age would, get advice about how to claim.
The level of benefit depends on how much help your child needs and whether help is needed during the day, at night or both. If your child's needs are far greater than a non-disabled child of the same age benefit can be paid from three months old.
The DWP claims that all children under two years need extensive care and supervision.
If you have a child who is terminally ill, a claim can be made under the "Special Rules". These claims are processed more quickly using an additional claim form, DS1500. Your doctor or hospital will complete this additional form.
Does your child have mobility problems?
The mobility component can be paid from three years old. Claims can be made three months before a child's third birthday. The mobility component can be paid if your child:
- cannot walk at all
- has difficulty walking due to pain or severe discomfort
- has a visual or hearing impairment which makes it difficult for them to get around
- has a physical or learning disability that means they cannot go out unsupervised, or
- walking causes breathlessness or tiredness
There are additional rules for children using artificial limbs. This list does not cover everything and if you feel your child may be entitled to the mobility component you should get advice about how to claim. Again your child has to require more guidance or supervision than you would give to a non-disabled child of the same age.
How do I claim?
You can claim using pack DLA1 child. This is available from the DWP, advice agencies and your local social work office.
Who makes the decision on my claim?
The Disability Benefits Centre in Glasgow handles claims. Decisions are not made by a doctor, therefore it is important to give them as much information as possible. Remember you know your child better than anyone else!
When will I get a decision?
The Disability Benefits Centre will try to get a decision to you within 53 working days. If you are claiming under the "Special Rules" you should get a decision within ten working days. If you have waited longer you can complain to the Customer Services Manager at the Disability Benefits Centre.
What if I am unsatisfied with the decision?
If you are refused benefit or you think it should be paid at a higher rate you can write asking for a revision within one month from the date on the decision. If you are still unsatisfied after the revision has been made you can ask, again in writing within one month, to have your appeal heard by an appeal tribunal.
What if my child’s circumstances change?
Your child’s needs may change in the future, therefore, the DWP may decide only to award benefit for a short period and revise entitlement at a later date. If any changes are made to an award of benefit you should get advice on whether to appeal against the decision.
You may feel that your child’s needs have increased. In this instance you may decide to ask for benefit to be increased. Before asking for a revision it is important to get advice from your local social work office. If you do not give enough information you risk losing rather than gaining benefit.
What if I am successful in my claim?
You can contact your local social work office who can offer to check your current income to see if you are eligible to claim further benefits. If you need further advice on how to claim, ask for a revision or get representation at a tribunal contact your local social work office.
If you have any questions about benefits, a GAIN Welfare Rights Adviser can help you. Click here to find your nearest GAIN agency or call the GAIN Helpline on 0808 801 1011 Mon- Fri 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Calls are free from land-lines and some mobile numbers.
Glasgow City Council Social Work Services