Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance is for people under 65 who have difficulty walking or looking after themselves (or both).
You may also be eligible for Disability Living Allowance if you need someone to look out for you, for example because you have a mental health condition.
Disability Living Allowance has been replaced by Personal Independence Payment for all new claimants aged over 16 and under 65. Contact a welfare rights adviser for the most up-to-date information.
If you’re making a new claim, you’ll need to claim Personal Independence Payment.
Disability Living Allowance won’t be affected for children or people who are 65 or over.
If you’re already claiming Disability Living Allowance, then you’ll be asked whether you want to claim Personal Independence Payment at some point. Most people won’t be asked until October 2015 or later. You may be asked earlier if you reach the end of an award, report a change in how your disability or condition affects you, or if you have a child who reaches 16.
Disability Living Allowance
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To qualify for Disability Living Allowance, you need to have had difficulty walking or looking after yourself (for example cooking or dressing yourself) for at least three months. These difficulties should be expected to last for at least the next six months.
Disability Living Allowance is made up of:
a care component (for difficulties looking after yourself)
a mobility component (for difficulties walking or getting around).
The amount of Disability Living Allowance you get depends on how much help or supervision you need to walk or take care of yourself (or both). Some people will be entitled to get one component, while others may get both.
You don’t have to actually be getting the help to qualify.
You should also know that:
when you claim Disability Living Allowance, your income and savings aren’t taken into account
if you’re getting other benefits, they won’t be reduced if you’re awarded Disability Living Allowance, and they may even increase
if you’re awarded Disability Living Allowance, you may become eligible for extra benefits
you can claim Disability Living Allowance if you’re working.
To qualify for the mobility component you must be unable or nearly unable to walk without severe discomfort, or need guidance or help most of the time when walking outdoors.
The mobility component is paid at one of two rates depending on how your disability affects you (see the weekly rates below).
To qualify for the care component, you don’t need to have a carer. It’s the care you need that makes you eligible, not the care you get. For example, you could be eligible for the care component because you find it difficult to get out of bed, have a bath or cook yourself a meal.
The care component is paid at one of three rates listed below, depending on the amount of help and care you need (see the weekly rates below).
If you qualify for the middle or higher rate of the care component and you have a carer, your carer may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
How much you’ll get – weekly rates
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Higher rate - £79.15
Middle rate - £53
Lower rate - £21
Higher rate - £55.25
Lower rate - £21
If you’re getting Disability Living Allowance and your care or mobility needs increase, you may become entitled to an increase in your Disability Living Allowance.
You need to make a claim for Disability Living Allowance before you turn 65, but if you’re awarded the benefit, it will still be paid to you after you’ve turned 65 as long as you continue to meet the qualifying criteria.
If you’re terminally ill, you can apply for Disability Living Allowance under the ‘special rules’. Under these rules, you don’t need to meet the three- and six-month qualifying conditions. Your claim will be dealt with quickly and you’ll receive the Disability Living Allowance care component at the higher rate.
You may also be eligible for the mobility component if you have difficulty walking. All special rules claims for Disability Living Allowance are currently reviewed after three years.
It’s a good idea to get help from an experienced welfare rights adviser when filling in the claim form. From 10 June 2013, anyone over 16 must claim Personal Independence Payment instead of Disability Living Allowance. To make a claim for Disability Living Allowance, call the DWP's Disability Benefits Helpline on 0845 712 3456 or textphone 0845 722 4433, or visit gov.uk
In Northern Ireland
To apply, call the Disability and Carers Service, the Benefit Enquiry Line or your local Social Security or Jobs and Benefits office. You can also download an application form at nidirect.gov.uk
Your employer may be able to organise this or you can contact your local HM Revenue & Customs Enquiry Centre. If your circumstances have changed, it’s worth asking if you’re still paying the correct amount of tax.
Welfare reform in Northern Ireland - Autumn 2013 update
The Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Bill is still under consideration. While it was originally expected that reforms to the benefits system in Northern Ireland would start to be introduced in summer 2013, these changes are now not expected to occur until at least spring 2014. The latest news on the reforms can be found on our welfare reform page and also at nidirect.gov.uk
Macmillan Cancer Support, in partnership with Citizens Advice, provides a dedicated Welfare Rights Service to cancer people affected by cancer in Northern Ireland. For information and support, or to arrange an appointment, please call 0300 1 233 233. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-12.30pm and 1pm-4pm.
You can also call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.
For benefits information and support in Northern Ireland please visit nidirect.gov.uk or call 0800 232 1271.
You can also contact the Northern Ireland Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 220 674, or textphone 0800 243 787 if you are deaf or hard of hearing.