Skip to Content
Back to A-Z Help pages index

Disability Living Allowance - care component

Disability Living Allowance is only available for new claims from children under 16, it has been abolished for all new claims from people aged between 16 and state pension age. Any new claim from this age group should be for Personal Independence Payment instead.

What is Disability Living Allowance care component ?

If you have care needs due to an illness or disability (physical or mental) you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance. Disability Living Allowance is made up of a care component (for help with personal care) and a mobility component (for help with getting around). Both the care component and the mobility component are paid at different rates depending on the level of support you need.

To get the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), your disability must be severe enough for you to either:

  • need help with things such as washing, dressing, eating, getting to and using the toilet, or communicating your needs
  • need supervision to avoid you putting yourself or others in substantial danger
  • need someone with you when you are on dialysis
  • be unable to prepare a cooked main meal for yourself (if you have the ingredients), if you are aged 16 or over

There are three rates of care component depending on how your disability affects you:

Lowest rate

If you need help for some of the day or you are unable to prepare a cooked main meal.

Middle rate

If you need help with personal care frequently or supervision continually throughout the day only, or help with personal care or someone to watch over you during the night only, or someone with you while you are on dialysis.

Highest rate

If you need help or supervision frequently throughout the day and during the night.

You can get Disability Living Allowance for your care needs even if no one is actually giving you the care you need, even if you live alone.

In 2024/25 rates for DLA care component are:

Low rate care component: £28.70
Middle rate care component: £72.65
High rate care component: £108.55

Can I get it?

If you have an illness or disability that affects your daily life then it is worth finding out whether you can claim additional benefits. Each claim is assessed individually to see whether you meet the eligibility rules and which rate is payable.

Disability Living Allowance is not means-tested so it does not matter what other income or savings you have. You must be aged under 16 to make a new claim - if you are aged between 16 and state pension age then you should claim Personal Independence Payment, if you have reached state pension age then you should claim Attendance Allowance.

How do I claim?

Disability Living Allowance is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions and in Northern Ireland by the Disability and Carers Service. Contact details are on the Disability benefits helpline page and for Northern Ireland on the NIdirect website.