Family » Support for Disabled Children » Empowering Families: How to Claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children

Empowering Families: How to Claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children

By IntFormalities
Updated on September 16, 2023
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Raising children comes with its fair share of expenses, but when it comes to caring for children with disabilities, the financial burden can be even greater. Whether your child was born with a disability or developed one during their childhood, this article is here to help.

If you have a child under the age of 16 with a disability, the UK government provides various benefits to assist you. One such crucial benefit is the Disability Living Allowance for Children.

Find out the details of this allowance, its eligibility criteria, and how you can claim it. Read on to discover how the Disability Living Allowance can provide much-needed support for your child’s unique needs.

What Is the Disability Living Allowance for Children?
The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children provides financial assistance to children under the age of 16 with disabilities, helping to cover the extra expenses associated with their care.

What Is the Disability Living Allowance for Children?

The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children is a valuable financial benefit designed to cover the additional expenses associated with caring for a child under the age of 16 who has a disability. If your child faces challenges with mobility or requires more care compared to their peers without disabilities, you may be eligible to apply for this benefit.

Notably, Children’s DLA is tax-free, and any parent in the UK can apply on behalf of their child.

It’s important to be aware that the Disability Living Allowance Benefit For Children is being phased out in Scotland and will become replaced by Child Disability Payment. This transition aims to enhance and streamline the support system for families in Scotland.

The Eligibility Criteria

A parent of a disabled child can apply for the DLA. People who are not the biological parent but take on the role of a parent can also apply. This will include step-parents, grandparents, guardians, older brothers and sisters, and foster parents. 

To be able to claim Disability Living Allowance for Children, your child must meet the following conditions:

  • Be under the age of 16
  • Must have walking difficulties or need additional care
  • Need to live in England, Wales, an EU country, or Switzerland when the claim is made (exceptions apply if family members are in the armed forces)
  • If the child is over 3 years old, they must have lived in Great Britain for 6 of the previous 12 months
  • Not be under immigration control
  • Be a habitual resident of the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle Of Man

Disability Living Allowance for Children is available in Northern Ireland, but different rules apply. 

How To Apply for Disability Living Allowance for Children

The application process for Disability Living Allowance for Children may vary depending on the country you reside in. Here’s a breakdown of the application procedures for different regions:

England and Wales

  1. Fill out the DLA claim form, which can be downloaded on your desktop or laptop.
  2. Use a PDF reader to open the form and complete it electronically.
  3. Once completed, submit the form by mail.
  4. Alternatively, you can contact the Disability Living Allowance helpline at 0800 121 4600 to request a form by post.

Northern Ireland

For detailed information on the application process, please follow the instructions specific to Northern Ireland on this link.


To apply for Disability Living Allowance for Children in Scotland, visit the website for further guidance and instructions.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific application procedures for your country to ensure a smooth and successful application process.

How Much Is the Disability Living Allowance for Children?

There are 2 parts to the benefit: the care component and the mobility component. Your child could be entitled to a single or both parts. The payments are made on a 4-week basis.

The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children consists of two components: the care component and the mobility component. Your child may be eligible for one or both parts of the benefit, with payments being made on a 4-week basis.

If you spend over 35 hours looking after your child, you could be eligible for Carer’s Allowance

The DLA payment rates depend on the level of care required and fall into different rate bands. The tables below outline what you could receive for each component.

The Care Component

Care ComponentWeekly Payment Rate

The lowest rate applies if the child needs some help during the day. The highest rate is if a child needs constant supervision during the day and night, while the middle rate applies to children who need frequent supervision during the day or night or if they are on dialysis. A child with less than 12 months to live will also be eligible for the high rate

The Mobility Component

Mobility ComponentWeekly Payment Rate

The lower rate is applicable if a child can walk but requires supervision or help when outdoors. The highest rate is for children who cannot walk or are only able to walk a short distance or if they are blind or have impaired sight. Age limits are also applicable to the mobility component. 

To qualify for the lowest rate, the child must be over 4 years of age. For the highest rate, the child must be older than 2.

Change of Circumstances

You must let the Disability Living Allowance Administration helpline know if any changes occur. Examples of changes will include:

  • Child’s personal details (for example, name or address)
  • The help required or the condition of their illness change
  • Going overseas for more than 13 weeks
  • Going into hospital or a care home for an extended period
  • Taking on another nationality such that they are no longer a British citizen
  • Becoming detained or going to prison

Disability Living Allowance for children stops at the age of 16. Your child will become eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from this age. A letter will be sent for them to apply for PIP. The application must be completed by the date stated in the letter for them to receive PIP. When your child becomes an adult, they will be entitled to other additional benefits.

You can also read, “Dial-A-Ride: How To Get Door-to-Door Transportation If You Are Disabled.”

Taking Good Care of Your Child

The Child Disability Payment serves as a crucial benefit for disabled children under the age of 16 who need financial assistance to cover the additional costs associated with their care. If your child meets the eligibility criteria, it is essential to take action and apply for this valuable support.

By accessing the appropriate rates and components, such as the care and mobility components, you can tailor the support to your child’s specific needs. Apply now and secure the assistance your child needs.

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