DLA for children

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after someone who is under 16 and has mobility needs (difficulties getting around), care needs, or both.

Household income is not taken into account when deciding on eligibility. Many families are missing out on this important benefit because of misunderstandings about who can claim and how the benefit works.

This podcast from Contact UK challenges the myths around DLA eligibility and is well worth a listen (press the play button to begin):


More about DLA

DLA is made up of two parts and your child might qualify for one or both of these.

Care component DLA

This is for children who need more looking after than a child of the same age without a disability. The rate awarded depends on the level of looking after they need:

  • Lowest rate - help for some of the day
  • Middle rate - frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night or someone to help while they’re on dialysis
  • Highest rate - help or supervision throughout both day and night, or a medical professional has said they might have 6 months or less to live

Mobility component DLA

This is for children who have difficulty getting about. There are two rates:

  • Lowest rate - they can walk but need help and or supervision when outdoors
  • Highest rate - they cannot walk, can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, could become very ill if they try to walk or they’re blind or severely sight impaired

With some exceptions, the child must have had these needs for a period of three months before applying, and there is an expectation that they will still have them in six months.

How to find out more and apply for DLA

To claim DLA for a child you need to be their parent or look after them as if you’re their parent.

For more details, visit the gov.uk DLA for children overview or read the DLA for children easy-read guide

To apply, visit Gov.uk to download a claim form and notes on how to complete it (you'll need to print the form, complete it and send it back).

If you can't print the form yourself, you can phone the Disability Living Allowance helpline (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) and ask for a printed form:

Telephone: 0800 121 4600
Text phone: 0800 121 4523

Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 4600

Video relay service for British Sign Language (BSL) users

Support for you

www.contact.org.uk have some helpful tips on how to complete an application for DLA, including some step-by-step videos.

You can also find help locally by visiting our Welfare Advice page.

Is your child over 16? They will need to apply for Personal Independence Payment instead.