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Disability premiums in benefits

This page provides information on the rules used in the calculator to work out eligibility to extra allowances (‘premiums’) for disability in means-tested benefits. The calculator asks questions so that we can automatically work out the correct premium. Further details of the rules are below.

There are three categories of disability premiums for adults. Working age people (under the age when you qualify for Pension Credit) may qualify for:

  • Disability Premium
  • Enhanced Disability Premium
  • Severe Disability Premium

Pension Credit age people can only qualify for:

  • Severe Disability Premium

If you are claiming Universal Credit there are no disability premiums so the information on this page does not apply. Universal Credit only has the limited capability for work element and the limited capability for work and work related activity element, you can find out more about these on our Universal Credit limited capability for work help page.

Disability Premium

You may qualify for the Disability Premium in your Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Housing Benefit if you are under the age when you qualify for Pension Credit (in couples the one who qualifies must be under Pension Credit age) and you receive:

  • Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment/Adult Disability Payment at any rate
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Incapacity Benefit (long-term rate) or, in certain circumstances, at the short-term higher rate
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit disabled worker or severe disability element
  • a vehicle under the Invalid Vehicle Scheme or War Pensioner's Vehicle Scheme, or have a grant towards an invalid vehicle
  • are registered as blind - or still treated as registered blind for 28 weeks after regaining sight 
  • are incapable of work or treated as being incapable of work for at least 364 days (196 days if terminally ill) or because you are protected by the 52 week linking rules (this particular rule does not always apply as other additional amounts are available linked to incapacity for work)

Enhanced Disability Premium

You qualify for an Enhanced Disability Premium if you are under the age when you qualify for Pension Credit (for couples the one who qualifies must be under Pension Credit age) and one of you receives Disability Living Allowance higher rate care component, Personal Independence Payment Daily Living component enhanced rate, Adult Disability Payment daily living component enhanced rate or Armed Forces Independence Payment. You can also qualify for an enhanced disability premium if you claim main-phase Employment and Support Allowance and receive the support component.

This premium can be included alongside the disability premium or severe disability premium. 

Severe Disability Premium

The rules for whether you are entitled to a severe disability premium are complicated. For more information see when a severe disability premium may be added to your benefit award.

In brief, a Severe Disability Premium is awarded at the lower rate to single claimants where: Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, the middle or higher rate DLA care component, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment, the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment are received, and no one is entitled to Carer's Allowance (CA), Carer Support Payment or the carer element of Universal Credit for looking after you.

It is awarded at a higher rate to couples where:

  • both members receive one of the benefits listed above; and
  • no non-dependant aged 18 or over is living with them, for example a grown up child; and
  • no one is receiving a payment of a carer benefit (CA/CSP,carer element of UC) for looking after either of them.

If someone receives a carer benefit (CA/CSP, carer element of UC) for looking after one member of a couple but not the other they may qualify for the lower rate of this premium. They may also qualify for the lower rate if one member of a couple meets the conditions above and the other is registered blind.

Other premiums for disabled workers and children

If you work more than 16 hours a week you may be entitled to the disability element in Working Tax Credit you must already be receiving tax credits to qualify as there are no new claims for tax credits allowed now. Extra allowances are also available for disabled children.

Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Premiums - it's complex

If you are entitled to income-related Employment and Support Allowance you should find out more about the disability premiums available in means-tested benefits.

If you are in a situation where you can choose between benefits we strongly advise you to seek further advice from a recognised adviser to work out which benefit you would be better off claiming. For more information see which means tested benefit would you be better-off claiming?