A guide on obtaining DLA benefits for your child.

To assist with the additional expenses resulting from your child's health condition or disability, you have the option to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Should your child be diagnosed as terminally ill, there is a fast-track process available to apply for DLA. Refer to our comprehensive guide for more information.

Determine eligibility for your child

DLA can be obtained if your child:

  • Requires more care, attention, or supervision compared to a child of the same age without a disability or health condition
  • Experiences difficulty in walking or navigating unfamiliar outdoor areas

DLA is not means tested, meaning neither your income nor your savings are taken into consideration.

If uncertain about your eligibility, you can learn more about eligibility for DLA for children.

Obtain an application form

You have the choice of either requesting an application form via phone or downloading it.

Phoning is the recommended option, as your payments will be retroactive to the date of your call. If you choose to download the form, you will only receive payment starting from the date it is received by the DWP.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Helpline

Telephone: 0800 121 4600 Textphone: 0800 121 4523

Relay UK - if you are unable to hear or speak on the phone, you can type your message: 18001 followed by 0800 121 4600

You can use Relay UK through an app or textphone at no additional cost. Find out how to use Relay UK on the Relay UK website.

Video relay - available for those who communicate using British Sign Language (BSL). Learn how to use video relay on YouTube.

Operating hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Calls are free from both mobiles and landlines.

You can download an application form from GOV.UK.

Maintain a diary

It is advisable to keep a diary documenting your child's condition for one week before completing the application form, particularly if they have good and bad days. Record your child's challenges, the assistance or care you provide, and the duration it takes.

Depending on your child's condition, it may be beneficial to maintain a diary for a longer duration, such as if their condition affects them for one week each month.

We have created a DLA diary that can be printed and utilized. The diary covers a span of 7 days and offers guidance on what to document.

The diary can be immensely helpful when completing the form and can also be submitted as evidence, if desired.

Complete the application form

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) takes certain factors into account when assessing your claim, so it is crucial that you fill out the form to the best of your ability.

For the best chance of success, we suggest you consult our guidance on completing the DLA form.

Submit your application form

We recommend making a copy of your completed application form and any accompanying documents for future reference. This will be particularly useful if you need to reapply for DLA after a few years.

Send the form to:

Disability Benefit Centre 4

Post Handling Site B


WV99 1BY

Even if you are awaiting a letter from your doctor or any other relevant documents, it is advisable to send the form before the six-week deadline. Include a letter stating that you will provide additional evidence and provide an estimated date for its submission. Remember, if you send the form late, your payments will only begin from the date the DWP receives it.

What comes next

Within two weeks, you will receive a letter or possibly a text message from the DWP confirming receipt of your claim. If you do not receive a letter within this timeframe, please contact the DLA helpline.

Typically, you can expect to receive a "decision letter" within three months. If your claim is approved, the decision letter will specify the amount and duration of your benefits. If your claim is unsuccessful, the decision letter will outline the reasons for the denial.

If you believe the approved benefit rate is incorrect, it is advisable to reach out to your nearest Citizens Advice or call the Contact a Family helpline at 0808 808 3555 to discuss your concerns.

Transitioning to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) at age 16

Once your child reaches 16, they will switch from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). You will receive a letter from the DWP shortly before your child's 16th birthday, providing instructions on this transition.

You will need to complete a new form for PIP, and your child will be required to undergo an assessment, even if they did not have one for DLA.

If you are waiting for a medical assessment

Currently, the DWP aims to conduct assessments based on your child's medical evidence. They may also request to speak with your child via phone or video call. It is important to submit their medical evidence as soon as possible.

In rare cases, the DWP may request a face-to-face medical assessment for your child.

To prepare yourself, we recommend reading our guidance on transitioning from DLA to PIP.

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