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Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance - sometimes referred to as DLA - is a tax-free benefit for children and adults who need help with personal care or have walking difficulties because they are physically or mentally disabled.

Who can get Disability Living Allowance?

You may get Disability Living Allowance if:

  • you have a physical or mental disability, or both
  • your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or you have walking difficulties, or both
  • you are under 65 when you claim

If you are aged 65 or over, you may be able to get Attendance Allowance.

You can get Disability Living Allowance whether or not you work.

It isn't usually affected by any savings or income you may have.

Special rules - if you are terminally ill

If you have a progressive disease and you are not expected to live for more than another six months there are special rules for claiming to make sure you get your benefit more quickly and easily.

Medical examinations

You will not usually need a medical examination when you claim for Disability Living Allowance. If you are asked to have one you can find out more from the link below.

How much do you get?

Disability Living Allowance has two parts called 'components':

  • a care component - if you need help looking after yourself or supervision to keep you safe
  • a mobility component - if you can't walk or need help getting around

Some people will be entitled to receive just one component; others may get both.

The care component and mobility component are paid at different rates depending on how your disability affects you.

How it's paid

Disability Living Allowance is normally paid directly into any account of your choice which accepts Direct Payment of benefits. This might be a bank, building society or other account provider. 

You may be able to get someone else to collect your Disability Living Allowance if you wish.  For help with this please contact your bank, building society or other account provider.

If you would like more information about how you can be paid by other means please contact the office dealing with your claim - details are in the 'Rates and how to claim' section.

Effect on other benefits and entitlements

If you start to get Disability Living Allowance it might increase the amount of other benefits or credits you're entitled to, such as Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

Disability Living Allowance is normally ignored as income for working out these income-related benefits and credits.

Rates and how to claim

Claim straight away - if you delay you may lose benefit.

You can claim online or you can get a claim pack by:

  • phoning the Benefit Enquiry Line
  • contacting your local Jobcentre Plus office or local social security office
  • downloading the form from this website

What else you need to know

Changes to your circumstances can affect the amount of Disability Living Allowance you get or whether you get it. For example, this could be a stay in hospital or if your disability gets worse or better.

To get Disability Living Allowance you must also meet certain other conditions about your residence and presence.

Disability Living Allowance - British Sign Language and subtitled film

A short film - which is presented in British Sign Language, narrated and also subtitled - can be downloaded from Directgov. The information is also available on DVD, which you can request to be delivered to you.

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