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Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults

1. Overview

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled people who need help with mobility or care costs.

You can claim for DLA if you:

  • are under 16
  • were born after 8 April 1948 and you make a claim in the same year you stopped receiving DLA

If you’re not eligible

If you’re aged 65 or older and haven’t received DLA or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in the last year, you may be able to claimAttendance Allowance instead.

If you’re already claiming, you’ll continue to get DLA until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to tell you when your DLA will end and invites you to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Use the PIP checker to find out how your DLA will be affected by PIP.

2. DLA rates

The rate you get is made up of 2 components (parts). How much you get depends on how your disability or health condition affects you.

Care component

Care componentWeekly rateLevel of help you needLowest£21.80Help for some of the day or with preparing cooked mealsMiddle£55.10Frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night or someone to help you while on dialysisHighest£82.30Help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you’re terminally ill

Mobility component

Mobility componentWeekly rateLevel of help you needLower£21.80Guidance or supervision outdoorsHigher£57.45You have any other, more severe, walking difficulty

How you’re paid

DLA is usually paid every 4 weeks.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, for example your bank account.

Extra help

You could get extra benefits or tax credits if you get Disability Living Allowance - check with the Disability Service Centre or the office dealing with your benefit.

3. Eligibility

You can only make a new DLA claim if you’re under 16. Your DLA will continue if you were born on or before 8 April 1948.

Apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead if you’re not eligible for DLA.

You may be eligible if you either:

  • need help looking after yourself (the ‘care component’)
  • have walking difficulties (the ‘mobility component’)

If you need help looking after yourself

You might get the care part of DLA if you:

  • need help with things like washing, dressing, eating, using the toilet or communicating your needs
  • need supervision to avoid putting yourself or others in danger
  • need someone with you when you’re on dialysis
  • can’t prepare a cooked main meal

You can get this part if no-one is actually giving you the care you need, or you live alone.

If you have walking difficulties

You might get the mobility part of DLA if, when using your normal aid, you:

  • can’t walk
  • can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort
  • could become very ill if you try to walk

You might also get it if you:

  • have no feet or legs
  • are assessed as 100% blind and at least 80% deaf and you need someone with you when outdoors
  • are severely mentally impaired with severe behavioural problems and get the highest rate of care for DLA
  • need supervision most of the time when walking outdoors
  • are certified as severely sight impaired and you were aged between 3 and 64 on 11 April 2011

You must tell DWP if your circumstances change, for example your condition improves or you need more help.


You might get a letter saying you need to attend an assessment to check the level of help you need. The letter explains why, and where you must go. Your benefit may be stopped if you don’t go.

At the assessment, you’ll be asked for identification. You can use a passport or any 3 of the following:

  • birth certificate
  • a full driving licence
  • life assurance policy
  • bank statements

4. Your DLA claim

You can keep getting DLA if you’re under 16 or you were born on or before 8 April 1948.

You can also claim if you were born after 8 April 1948 and you make a claim in the same year you stopped receiving DLA.

Use the PIP checker to find out how your DLA will be affected by Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

If you’re aged 65 or older and haven’t received DLA or PIP in the last year you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance instead.

Applying for PIP

You’ll get a letter inviting you to apply for PIP. You must apply within 28 days from the date on the letter.

Your DLA will end either:

  • when you decide not to apply
  • at least 28 days after DWP make a decision about your PIP claim

You don’t need to do anything until you get the letter, unless there’s a change in how your illness or disability affects you.

If you have a fixed period DLA award, contact the Disability Service Centre if you haven’t got a letter inviting you to apply for PIP 28 days before your DLA is due to end.

Change of circumstances

You must contact the Disability Service Centre if your circumstances change, as this can affect how much DLA you get. For example:

  • the level of help you need or your condition changes
  • you go into hospital or a care home for more than 4 weeks
  • you go abroad for more than 13 weeks
  • you’re imprisoned or held in detention

You must also contact the centre if:

  • you change your name, address or bank details
  • you want to stop receiving your benefit
  • your doctor’s details change

You could get a £50 fine and have to repay overpaid benefits if you don’t report changes and are overpaid as a result.

Appeal a decision

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision. You must usually ask for ‘mandatory reconsideration’ before you appeal

Who to contact


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