What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax free benefit for people under the age of 65 and who need help looking after themselves and/or find it difficult to walk or get around because of an illness or disability.
- DLA is not means tested - your income and savings (or those of your partner) are not looked at when the decision is made about awarding DLA.
- Receiving DLA may entitle you to other benefits (or increase the value of those benefits).
- DLA is available whether you live alone or with other people.
For further information about DLA see our factsheet.
Who qualifies for Disability Living Allowance?
To claim DLA you must:
- be under 65 years old when you first claim
- have needed help for the past three months
- expect to need help for at least a further six months.
How much is DLA worth? DLA is made up of two components - mobility and care. You can claim and be awarded one or both of them.
There are two rates of the mobility component:
- Higher rate - £55.25 per week for people aged 3-65
- Lower rate - £21.00 per week for people aged 5–65
There are three rates of the care component:
- Higher rate - £79.15 per week
- Middle rate - £53.00 per week
- Lower rate - £21.00 per week
People who are terminally ill
People who are terminally ill (where death can reasonably be expected within 6 months) automatically get the higher rate of the care component. The person does not need to have required help for the previous 6 months.
These claims are dealt with quicker than standard claims.
This is known as claiming under Special Rules and the gov.uk website has more information about what you need to do to claim.
From 10 June 2013 if you are aged between 16 and 64 you will no longer be able to make a fresh claim to Disability Living Allowance even if you are claiming under Special Rules. You will need to claim Personal Independence Payments instead.
How to apply
You can only apply for DLA for children under 16. All claims for adults will now be for Personal Independence Payments
Getting help with filling in the application form
The form is quite long and complicated but there is help available.
Form filling guides
Use our form filling guides if you need help with the application form.
Many organisations supporting people with specific conditions offer advice on form filling on their websites. See our How to get advice page for details.
Our Benefits advice sessions page lists local organisations that can offer help with filling in forms.
To discuss an existing claim:
- Phone 08457 123 456
- Textphone 08457 22 44 33
If you are refused DLA
Our Challenging decisions page gives further advice if your claim is turned down or you do not believe you have been awarded the right rate of DLA.