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Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children

Having a child with a disability can put a huge strain on your finances, especially if you or your partner have had to adjust your working hours to look after your child. Some disabled children need specially adapted equipment, clothes or toys and these can be expensive. Disability Allowance can help you get money every month to help you with these ongoing costs.


Your child DOES NOT have to have a diagnosis to receive DLA.

IT’S NOT MEANS TESTED so it doesn’t matter how much you earn you could be entitled.

Parents just need to be able to prove that your child needs more support than another child their age needs.


Before you apply it’s a good idea to collect any information such as letters from your child’s GP and specialists such as physiotherapists,  as physiotherapists, speech and language therapists or specialists teams all together.

Another good tip is to start a diary of all the extra things you need to do for your child every day from the moment they wake up until they go to bed eg:

  • Does your child get up very early? Is your child able to get up independently?
  • Do you have to help your child use the toilet or remind them to?
  • Is your child able to wash themselves independently? Do you have to help them wash or help with other care such as hairbrushing, teeth cleaning or using taps safely?
  • Is your child able to dress themselves on their own? Do  they put the right clothes on in the right order?
  • Does your child eat like other children their age, do they have sensory issues around food meaning that you spend more on food or have to cook completely different meals?
  • How is their sleep? Are you up in  the night, do you need to sleep in their room? Do they struggle getting or staying asleep affecting you and others in the house?
  • Do you need to be with them every moment of everyday to keep them safe?
  • Does your child have sensory sensitivities around clothes? Do you have to buy expensive seamless, soft or adaptive clothes?
  • Does your child has difficulty with walking and / or mobility and you need support or equipment to help them?

All of these things that you do everyday without thinking may mean that you  may be able to receive Disability Allowance for your child. If you have more than one child with a disability you may be able to claim for both or all of them. Here is a great template from Citizens Advice for you to use. 


DLA rates for children

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children is a tax-free benefit made up of 2 components (parts). The child might qualify for one or both components.


Care component

Care component Weekly rate
Lowest £26.90
Middle £68.10
Highest £101.75

Mobility component

Mobility component Weekly rate
Lower £26.90
Higher £71


How DLA for children is paid 

DLA is usually paid every 4 weeks on a Tuesday.If your payment date is on a bank holiday, you will usually be paid before the bank holiday. After that you’ll continue to get paid as normal. All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into your bank or building society account.

Filling in the DLA form can be difficult for a parent, but you can get help. 

Someone at your nearest Citizens Advice might be able to sit with you and help you with the form, or even fill it in for you.

Carers Lewisham can help support you.

Contact’s Tips on completing the DLA form is really useful.

Contact’s Guide to claiming DLA for children with Autism or Learning Disabilities

Contact (for families with disabled children) helpline if you have questions – they’re experts in DLA for children.

Contact (for families with disabled children)
Telephone: 0808 808 3555
Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm
Calls to these numbers are free.


Extra help

You might qualify for Carer’s Allowance if you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a child who gets the middle or highest care rate of DLA. Most parents spend more than this caring for their child. Carers Allowance IS means tested.


Read more here

Find out if your child is eligible here

How to claim

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