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Disability Living Allowance

If you're living with a disability, you might be able to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to help with your care and mobility needs.

What is Disability Living Allowance?

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a monthly, tax-free benefit for disabled people, which is paid at different rates depending on the level of support you need.

DLA is gradually being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP), so you can't make a new claim for DLA. You'll instead need to apply for PIP or Attendance Allowance, depending on your age.

Which disability benefit should I be claiming?

If you haven’t already claimed DLA then you’ll need to find out which benefit you should claim, as there are different ones depending on your age:

Am I eligible for Disability Living Allowance?

You can claim DLA if:

  • you were born before 8 April 1948 and are already claiming DLA
  • you're claiming on behalf of a disabled person under the age of 16.

To continue to claim DLA, you'll need to show that you meet the criteria for at least one of the two components – the ‘care component’ and the ‘mobility component’.

If you don't fall into one of those categories, you should make a claim for a different benefit – either Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance, depending on your age.  

Are you entitled to extra money?

Do you know what benefits you're entitled to? Our online benefits calculator can help you quickly and easily find out what you could be claiming.

Get a free benefits check

How much Disability Living Allowance will I get?

If you're already claiming DLA and want to know how much you should be getting, here are the weekly payment rates from April 2024.

Disability Living Allowance – Care Component 

You might be eligible for the care component if you require help with everyday tasks, such as cooking or dressing. You'll be assessed on the help you need rather than any help you may or may not be getting. 

Care component Weekly rate How much support you need
Highest rate £108.55 Constantly need help – day or night
Middle rate £72.65 Frequently need help – day or night
Lowest rate £28.70 Need help only some of the day or with cooking meals

Disability Living Allowance – Mobility Component

You might be eligible for the mobility component if you have severe difficulties walking without assistance.

Mobility component Weekly rate How much support you need
Higher rate £75.75 You're only able to walk a short way before feeling out of breath, dizzy or unsteady, or if you're not able to walk at all outdoors
Lower rate £28.70 You need help walking outdoors in places you don't know because of a physical or mental disability, such as deafness or dementia

What happens if I already claim Disability Living Allowance?

If you’re already claiming DLA, you may be wondering about what will happen as the benefit is replaced. It all depends on your age:

  • If you were born on or before 8 April 1948 you can continue to receive DLA as long as you still have care or mobility needs.
  • If you were born after 8 April 1948, then you will be reassessed for PIP instead.

If you need to move over to PIP, you’ll get a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about this.

If your circumstances change 

If you already claim DLA and your circumstances change you might want your award to be reassessed. If you were born on or before 8 April, you can contact the DWP to report a change, however if you were born after this date you'll be asked to make a claim for PIP instead.

Once you're invited to make this switch you'll have 4 weeks to claim PIP. This process can't be reversed, and if you fail to claim it your DLA award will also be ended.

Before contacting the DWP to have your claim reassessed, it's a good idea to get independent advice to help make the best decision for you. 

More Disability Living Allowance questions

How many hours can you work on Disability Living Allowance?

There's no limit on the number of hours you can work when you're receiving DLA. But, if the activities involved in the work you do show that you don't meet the conditions for DLA, the Department for Work and Pensions can reassess you at any time. For example, if you get DLA because of your mobility difficulties but your job involves lots of walking.

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What day is Disability Living Allowance paid?

DLA is usually paid once every 4 weeks on a Wednesday. It can be paid weekly under the special rules for terminal illness.

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What are the rules around claiming Disability Living Allowance and Housing Benefit?

DLA is ignored as income for Housing Benefit. If you get DLA and you live alone without anyone caring for you, you may be entitled to an extra amount called a severe disability premium in your Housing Benefit and other means-tested benefits.

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Phone icon We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: May 23 2024

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