Disability Living Allowance is one of the most important social security benefits in the UK.
It is split into two componants:-
1) The Care Componant
2) The Motability Componant.
In order to qualify for either the care or the mobility component you must first show that
-You are under 65 and
-You have had your care or mobility needs for at least three months before you apply and
-Your disability is likely to affect you for at the least the next six months
-You have lived in Great Britain for at least 26 of the last 52 weeks and
-You have an unrestricted right to live in Great Britain.
The Care Componant
The care component can be paid once a child is three months old.
In addition to the first five tests you must show that your child has needs that are "substantially in excess of the normal requirements of persons of the same age"
that those needs are substantial and which "younger persons may in normal physical or mental health may also have but which persons of the same age and in normal physical health would not have".
This means that as well as showing that your child has care needs arising from a disability, you must be able to demonstrate that these needs are substantially more than those of healthy children of the same age.
care needs can be either "attention" or "supervision"
"attention" is about needing help from someone else to do personal things that your child cannot do for him or herself
"supervision" is about needing someone else around to ensure that the risk of substantial danger is reduced.
Your child will be awarded the higher rate if his or her care needs require supervision or attention through the day and the night.
The middle rate is awarded to children whose needs occur either during the day or the night
The lower rate is awarded to those children whose needs occur at certain times of the day.
It is important to remember that your child will only be awarded DLA if you can show that his or her needs are much greater than other children of the same age and that those needs require substantially more supervision or attention.
The Motability Componant
The mobility component of DLA is payable to children over the age of 5- the criteria for the higher rate is the same as for adults. From April 2001, severely disabled children aged 3 and 4 who have difficulty walking may be able to get the higher rate of DLA for getting around.
Severely disabled is likely to be defined as-
Children with severe learning disabilities,
Children with the most severe forms of autism.
Applying for DLA
You need an application pack Ref: DLA 1 (Child). You can get a pack in one of the following ways:-
- Telephone the Benefits Enquiry line on 0800 882200 or
- Ask for one at your local Benefits office or
- get one from your local Citizens Advice Bureau
- You can also get additional help by ringing the Benefits Enquiry Line.
Useful links when applying for DLA