Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for children and adults who require additional help with personal care or have walking difficulties caused by a long-term health problem.
You should consider applying if your child has a long-term illness which affects their everyday activities, even if you do not consider your child to be ‘disabled'. DLA is to help meet additional expenses caused by a long-term health problem, such as higher heating bills, taxi fares, additional laundry, etc
This is a short guide on whether to apply. If in doubt, make a claim.
- A long term health problem is one that has lasted for at least 3 months and is expected to last at least another 6. You can prepare an application before the 3 months is up.
- The health problem has to result in your child needing substantially more care or supervision than other children of the same age without the health problem.
- If your child is under 16 you can make a claim on their behalf. Once they are 16 or over they can claim in their own right.
- Making a claim for DLA can be long, drawn out and emotionally draining, but there is help at hand (see sources of help).
- DLA is non-means tested - it is not affected by any money the child or the child's family might have as income or savings.
- Your child will not be ‘registered disabled' if they receive DLA and it will not make it more difficult to get a job when they become an adult.
- There are two parts to DLA
- Help with personal care
- Help when someone has problems getting around (mobility)
- The help with personal care component of DLA is available at three rates depending on extent of need: lower, middle and higher.
- You can spend DLA on anything you wish. It could be used for treats and holidays or to put away in a savings account for your child.
People, other than a professional welfare rights worker, often give incorrect advice about whether to apply. You may even have been told your child is not ill enough.
There are a number of sites which can help you decide whether to apply for DLA, and assist in filling out the application form
Disability Living Allowance links