What is Disability Living Allowance for adults?

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults was a benefit for people aged under 65 who had problems:

  • walking
  • moving around outdoors safely
  • looking after themselves.

It is not the same as Disability Living Allowance for children.

DLA for adults has now been replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If you are making a new claim and are aged between 16 and State Pension age, you must apply for PIP instead.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and claimed before June 2013, you may still be getting DLA for adults. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to you to tell you when your DLA will end. They will invite you to apply for PIP. You must apply within 4 weeks from the date on the letter.

If you have a fixed period DLA award, you should get a letter inviting you to apply for PIP 4 weeks before your DLA is due to end. If you have not, you should contact the Disability Service Centre. Call 0800 121 4600, or use textphone 0800 121 4523.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you will not be asked to move to PIP if you were born on, or before, 8 April 1948 and are still getting DLA.

If you are getting DLA and tell the DWP that your circumstances have changed, you will have to apply for PIP. PIP will replace your DLA, even if it is awarded at a lower amount.

If you live in Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, you may still be getting DLA for adults if you claimed it before June 2016.

The Department for Communities (DfC) will write to you to tell you when your DLA will end if you are:

  • already getting DLA
  • aged between 16 and State Pension age.

You then need to apply for PIP.

If you have a fixed period DLA award, you should get a letter inviting you to apply for PIP. You should get the letter 4 weeks before your DLA is due to end. If you have not had a letter, you should contact the Disability and Carers Service. Call 0800 587 0912, or use textphone 0800 012 1574.

If you move from DLA to PIP but get less money, you may be entitled to extra payments. This is called a supplementary payment. You can find out more about this at nidirect.gov.uk.

If you live in Northern Ireland and were born before 20 June 1951, you will not be asked to move to PIP.

If you are already getting DLA and are over State Pension age with a lifetime award, your DLA will continue. You will not be reassessed for PIP.

You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance instead if:

  • you are over State Pension age
  • you have not received DLA or PIP in the past year.

We have more information about other benefits and financial support available.

About our information


  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by Macmillan professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Sean Conroy, Macmillan Welfare Rights and Energy Advice Team Service Manager.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.