A quick guide to Disability Living Allowance for children

Disability Living Allowance (“DLA”) is a benefit designed to help with the extra costs you have because of your child's health condition or disability.

It’s very common for a parent to think they won’t be able to get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for their child when they can!

DLA isn’t just for children who are physically disabled. It can be given for a wide range of medical conditions including behavioural and mental health conditions as well as learning disabilities and developmental delay. You might be able to claim even if you wouldn’t describe your child as ‘disabled’.


You can get DLA if your child:

  • needs more care, attention or supervision than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability or health condition, or
  • has difficulty walking or getting around outdoors in unfamiliar places

DLA is not means-tested, so it doesn't matter how much you earn or what savings you have.

Your child must be under 16 years of age to claim DLA and must have been disabled or had the condition for at least three months, and you must expect it to last for six more. You don’t need a formal diagnosis from a doctor to apply, but this will usually help.

DLA and other benefits

Getting DLA may also increase other benefits that you receive, including:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Universal Credit

You will also be exempt from the ‘benefit cap’ which limits the amount of benefit payments a household can get.

Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people who look after someone with a disability or health condition.

You’ll have a good chance of getting Carer’s Allowance if all the following apply:

  • you earn less than £120 a week
  • you get the middle or higher rate of the care component of DLA
  • you spend at least 35 hours a week (total) caring for your child

For more information on DLA and to apply, take a look at the government's website at https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/how-to-claim

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