Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Disability Living Allowance - your circumstances

Find out what constitutes a change of circumstances and what to do when your circumstances change. This includes conditions about your residence and presence which you need to meet to get Disability Living Allowance.

Changes in circumstances

Changes to your circumstances can affect whether you should get Disability Living Allowance or the amount you get.

This includes if your care or mobility needs change, if you go into a National Health Service (NHS) hospital or a care home, or if you go abroad to live or visit.

It is important that you contact the office that deals with your payments.

Your disability or medical condition

Changes in circumstances include you, or someone you claim for, needing less help with personal care or supervision, or having less difficulty walking, because your condition has improved or you have an aid to help you.

If your condition, or the condition of someone you care for, gets worse and you need more help or you have greater walking difficulties, this could mean that you, or the disabled person, can get more money.

National Health Service (NHS) hospital

Changes in circumstances include you, or someone you claim for, going into or leaving an NHS hospital.

Care homes

Changes in circumstances include you, or someone you claim for, going into or leaving a care home.

Going abroad to live or visit

If you are going to live abroad permanently you cannot usually get Disability Living Allowance.

If you move to another country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and you already receive the care component of Disability Living Allowance, you may continue to get it under certain circumstances.

If your visit abroad is temporary, you may continue to get Disability Living Allowance if:

  • your absence from Great Britain does not last more than 26 weeks (this includes going on holiday)
  • your absence is only to get medical treatment for a condition which began before leaving Great Britain

Living in Great Britain

To get Disability Living Allowance you must generally:

  • be ordinarily resident in Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales)
  • be present in Great Britain when you claim
  • have been in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey for at least 26 weeks out of the last 52 weeks (the period is 13 weeks for babies under six months old and does not apply at all for people paid under special rules)
  • not be subject to immigration control

Immigration control does not stop you from getting Disability Living Allowance if you are either:

  • a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country
  • working in Great Britain as a national of a country which has an equal-treatment agreement with the European Union - that is Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and San Marino
  • living with one of these workers as a member of their family
  • a person who has been allowed to come into or stay in the UK because someone has agreed to be responsible for your maintenance and accommodation

You may be treated as being present in Great Britain if you are:

  • a member of HM Armed Forces serving abroad or a member of their family
  • a mariner or civilian airman working abroad
  • working in the United Kingdom sector of the continental shelf - on an oil rig, for example

If you are already living in another European Economic Area country or Switzerland, there is information in the following link about whether you can get Disability Living Allowance in the country where you are living.

Was this information useful?

Thinking about what you have just read, how useful did you find the information?
Thinking about what you have just read, how useful did you find the information?
500 character limit

Why are we asking for this information?

  • We want to hear what you think about the quality and usefulness of our pages
  • Your comments will help us improve our pages
  • They will also help with the future development of Directgov
  • Telling us what you think will help make sure we give you the very best service

Access keys