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Section: Money and legal

Subsection: Benefits

Disability Living Allowance

How much is DLA?

DLA has two main parts, called components:


  • Care
  • Mobility


The Care Component can be awarded to children from 3 months of age that require substantially more additional attention and supervision than other children of the same age. This is paid at one of three weekly rates, depending on how much additional assistance your child requires:


Lower Rate - £21.00 Middle Rate - £53.00 Higher Rate - £79.15


Lower Rate is awarded if your child requires assistance with personal care for a ‘significant portion of the day‘, which means for at least an hour on most days. This assistance may be given all at once or spread throughout the day.


Middle Rate is awarded if your child has either ‘day’ or ‘night’ time needs.


Higher Rate is awarded if your child has day and night time care needs, or if they qualify under the ‘special rules’.


The Mobility Component can be awarded to children that experience difficulties walking or getting around in unfamiliar areas. This is paid at one of two weekly rates, depending on how much additional assistance your child requires:


Lower Rate - £21.00 Higher Rate - £55.25


Lower Rate is awarded to children from 5 years old who can walk but need someone to supervise or guide them. Your child may still qualify even if they can get around places they know well, because the criteria is whether they need guidance or supervision in places they do not know well. This component is often awarded to children with visual or hearing impairments, or learning disabilities, but others may qualify.


Higher Rate is awarded to children from 3 years old who are unable to walk or is virtually unable to walk. In deciding if your child is virtually unable to walk , the speed, length of time and manner of walking, as well as the distance they can cover before they start to experience severe discomfort, such as breathlessness or pain needs to be taken into account.


A child can be in receipt of either or both components at the same time.


To claim DLA, a child must normally:


  • Reside in Great Britain


  • Be allowed to enter or stay in the United Kingdom and be eligible to receive benefits


It does not matter if you do not consider your child to be ‘disabled’, for the purposes of DLA; ‘disabled’ simply means that your child has a disability or long-term illness that affects their everyday activities, therefore, any child that has a disability, illness or medical condition may qualify.


However, to make a successful claim for DLA you have to demonstrate that your child requires substantially more care or supervision than other children of the same age, that are not disabled.


If your child is under 16 years old, you can make a claim on their behalf. Once they are 16 years old or over they can make a claim in their own right.