Disability Living Allowance for Children

Disability Living Allowance for children (DLA) for a child with special needs under the age of 16 after making a payment to help with extra costs.

Note: This brochure provides a brief summary of DLA for children and for guidance only. It does not cover all situations, nor does it include a full statement of the law. Further, more detailed information is given at the end of the source of the leaflets.

You can claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children whether or not you are working. You must be the person looking after the child as if you were the parent. When you claim, you must be in Great Britain and the child must have needed looking after for at least three months before claiming. (However, if the child is terminally ill there is no such qualifying period. See separate leaflet called Benefits for the Terminally Ill.)
To qualify for DLA for Children the child:
  • Must be aged under 16.
  • Must need more help to be looked after than a child without an illness or disability.
  • And/or must have difficulty walking.

The amount paid depends on how mobile the child is and has two rates:
  • Lowest - the child can walk but needs help and or supervision if they are outside.
  • Highest - the child can’t walk, or can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, or could become very ill if they try to walk.  Or the child is blind, severely visually impaired or deaf.
DLA for Children is a tax-free benefit and the child may get one or both of the components. The April 2013 rates are:
  • Daily Living Component
    • Lowest - £21.00 per week
    • Middle - £53.00 per week
    • Highest - £79.15 per week
  • Mobility Component
    • Lowest - £21.00 per week
    • Highest - £55.25 per week
How do you claim DLA for Children?
You need to complete a claim form to find out if the child is entitled to DLA for Children. To get a claim form:
  • Telephone the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 88 22 00, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
  • Download one from GOV.UK (details below). 
  • If you live in Northern Ireland, you can download one from the nidirect website (details below).

The amount paid depends on how much help the child needs. The Care Component has three rates:
  • Lowest - the child needs help for some of the day or night.
  • Middle - the child needs frequent help or constant supervision during the day or supervision at night.
  • Highest - the child needs help or supervision throughout both day and night, or they’re terminally ill.

When your child turns 16 they may have to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in their own right.  See separate leaflet called Personal Independence Payment for more details.