Disability Living Allowance for children
What is it?
If your child has care or mobility needs due to an illness or disability (physical or mental) you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for them In England, Wales and Northern Ireland or Child Disability Payment (CDP) in Scotland.
If you live in Scotland and are already receiving DLA for a child you will also be moved to CDP. This will take place in a phased approach from mid-October 2021, with an aim to be completed by spring 2023. You won't need to make a new application and will be contacted before the transfer.
The majority of entitlement conditions for CDP will remain the same as DLA. Rates will be the same as DLA. See the mygov.scot website for further details.
What are the components?
Disability Living Allowance and Child Disability Payment are made up of two components - care and mobility.
If your child has personal care needs at certain parts of the day, but not throughout the day, they may be entitled to the low rate care component. The middle rate of care is paid to children who needs frequent care or continual supervision during the day or some care/supervision by night and the high rate of care is paid if they need care or supervision during both the day and night. To claim you must be able to demonstrate that these needs are substantially more than those of healthy children of the same age.
The low rate mobility component is paid if your child can walk but needs more guidance or supervision outdoors than a non-disabled child of the same age. The high rate mobility component is paid if they have great difficulty in walking, cannot walk at all, are deaf and blind (or sometimes just blind) or, in certain circumstances, where a child has a severe mental impairment and exhibits behavioural problems out of doors.
In 2023/24 the following rates are payable:
- lower care £26.90
- middle care £68.10
- higher care £101.75
- lower mobility £26.90
- higher mobility £71.00
Can I get it?
If your child has an illness or disability that affects their daily life then it is worth finding out whether you can claim for them. Each claim is assessed individually to see whether the eligibility rules are met and which rate is payable.
The benefit is not means-tested so it does not matter what other income or savings you have.
Your child must be aged 3 months or over to claim care component (unless they are paid under 'special rules'). To claim mobility component they must be at least 3 years old.
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.
In Scotland apply for the Child Disability Payment via Social Security Scotland.
Extra help and benefits when you receive DLA for a child
If your child is awarded Disability Living Allowance or Child Disability Payment you may be entitled to extra amounts in other benefits you receive or become entitled to a new benefit for the first time. For further information you can go to the Citizens Advice website to find out what extra help and benefits you could get when your child gets DLA.