Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit provided to people who require extra care and have mobility difficulties due to disabilities. DLA consists of two parts: the care component and the mobility component.
When DLA replaced DLA for new claims in April 2013, the age limit was raised to 65. This upper age limit was carried over into Personal Independence Payment as well.
What is Disability Living Allowance?
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-exempt benefit designed to assist with extra living costs due to a long-term health condition or disability. It’s not means tested, so even low earners can claim it.
Aid for people living at home independently due to chronic illnesses or disabilities is available, usually paid out every four weeks.
If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, some of your partner or cohabitant’s income will be taken into account when applying for DLA benefits. If both of you work, then an Increase for Qualified Adult (IQA) or Qualified Child (IQC) may be included in the payment amount as an increased benefit.
DLA has been replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This non-means tested benefit takes into account your unique circumstances and challenges. After your initial assessment and regular reviews to ensure you receive the appropriate amount of PIP benefits, consider switching over to PIP.
How does DLA work?
If you are over 65 and have a disability or health condition, you may be eligible for DLA benefits. This can help cover things like heating costs or getting you out and about more frequently.
When applying for DLA benefits as a service member, there are certain restrictions. You cannot receive DLA if you move away from your home of record or location at which you entered service, nor can you transfer to another Permanent Duty Station (PDS) unless all dependents accompanying you.
When a service member is ordered to move for government convenience or evacuated from their duty station, they are eligible for DLA reimbursement. Each fiscal year they are authorized one DLA allotment – either with or without dependents as appropriate – regardless of status.
At any time, you have the right to request a supersession (review) of your DLA decision. This is an avenue for seeking an alternate outcome than what was originally anticipated or appealing against it.
What if I’m not eligible for DLA?
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) may be available if you have a qualifying medical condition or illness. No formal diagnosis is necessary, but you should demonstrate how your disability or illness makes it difficult for you to live independently.
Infants and toddlers can access the care component of Disability Living Allowance from age three months (or birth if terminally ill). This is paid at one of three different rates based on how much extra assistance your child requires.
Your child might qualify for the mobility component of DLA if they require assistance getting around, such as going from their bedroom to the bathroom or from the car to their front door. This benefit is paid at one of three different rates depending on how difficult it is for your child to use their arms or legs.
If you believe your DLA award is incorrect or the DWP have made an error, you have the right to request mandatory reconsideration. You may do this by phone, letter or filling out a form and returning it within one month of receiving your decision letter.
What if I’m already getting DLA?
If you are over 65 years of age, you can still claim DLA benefits. There are special rules that may make it more likely that your impairment will be listed on Social Security’s list or they could provide assistance if unsure whether work is still an option for you.
If your circumstances alter, you may wish to claim DLA again or be required to switch onto Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The Department for Work and Pensions will let you know when this switch is necessary.
If you are not satisfied with the DWP’s decision, you have the right to request a mandatory reconsideration. To do this, contact them either by phone, letter or filling out and returning a form within one month of receiving your decision letter.