Home > Help for Families > Caring For Your Child > Finances > Benefits and Allowances > Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

is the main benefit for children and adults with disabilities.  If a child is under 16 then the parent/carer has to claim on their behalf.... 

 DLA is not means tested. DLA is made up of two components'.

 The care component can be awarded when a child has extra care or supervision needs. It is paid at 3 rates – low, middle and high.

The mobility component can be awarded if your child needs extra help in getting around.  It is paid at 2 rates – low and high.  High rate mobility DLA is only paid if a child is ‘virtually unable to walk’, either due to severe physical disabilities or ‘severe mental impairment’.  The high rate mobility component of DLA can give you access to the Motability Scheme to help hire or buy a car. 

DLA can be paid from birth if a child is terminally ill – this means that the child’s death could reasonably be expected within 6 months.  In order to get this, a medical professional will need to complete a report called a DS1500. Most doctors have a supply of these. DLA also acts as a ‘passport’ to other benefits such as Carers Allowance and may increase other benefits such as Income Support, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits.

Be aware! DLA forms are very long and there is definitely a knack to completing them.  I would always recommend completing them with the help of an experienced benefits adviser – a list of helpful organisations is included at the end of these articles. For more information on DLA, you can contact the DLA Unit Helpline on 0845 7 123456.

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance is a means tested benefit paid to people over 16 years old who have ‘limited capability for work’ due to health problems.  It is a relatively new benefit (2008) and replaces Incapacity Benefit and Income Support for Sick People.  There  are 2 types of ESA – contribution related and income related.  Some people get a mixture of both whilst others get paid one type or the other depending on their circumstances. 

Be aware! If your son or daughter claims ESA in their own right, any tax credits or benefits you get for them will stop.  You may need further advice on this. For more information on ESA, you can contact the Benefits Enquiry Line on 0800 88 22 00.

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