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DLA for Children and PIP
Disability Living Allowance for Children
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit that your child (under 16) may get if they are ill or disabled i.e. they have personal care needs or problems moving. It exists to help you with the extra costs you may have because your child is disabled.
Please Note: Since 8th April 2013, nobody age 16-64 can make a new claim for DLA; they must apply for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) (below). If your child is approaching 16, the Government will write to you and explain how to apply for PIP.
How much DLA you get paid depends on your child’s needs, but it will be somewhere between £21.55 and £138.05. Only children who need much more day-to-day help than other children of the same age can get DLA.
You can apply online at www.gov.uk/browse/disabilities or you can call 0845 712 3456 / text 0845 722 4433 to get a claim form. Your child may need to be assessed to work out what help they need. If so, you will receive a letter to let you know.
Can I claim?
Your child must have had their difficulties for at least three months, unless they’re terminally ill, in which case you can apply straight away.
If you are under 16, someone will have to make the claim for you.
Your income and savings will not affect your claim. Your other benefits claims will not usually affect your DLA claim. There are two parts to DLA: Care and Mobility (the ability to move around freely). A child can get money for one or both.
There are three different care rates, depending on the level of care you need:
- You get the lower rate if you need help with cooking a main meal or care for a significant part of the day;
- You get the middle rate if you need frequent or constant care throughout the day or night or if you need someone to help while you’re on dialysis;
- You get the higher rate if you need frequent care or supervision throughout the day and night or if you are terminally ill
There are two different mobility rates, depending on how much difficulty you have with walking outdoors or going on an unfamiliar route without help. This could be because you are blind, in a wheelchair or have severe learning difficulties or behavioural problems.
- You don't need to be receiving help with your mobility needs to claim, but you must be able to prove you need it
- You get the lower rate if you cannot walk outdoors without help from another person for most of the time. This could be because of a physical or mental disability
- You get the higher rate if your mobility problems are worse than this, so that you are unable to walk or almost unable to because of physical disability, pain or the effect on your health if you do walk
Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) exists to help you with some of the extra costs caused by being disabled or long-term ill, if you’re aged 16 to 64.
Since 8th April 2013, PIP has started replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16-64, even for those with an indefinite or lifetime DLA award.
Nobody 16-64 can make a new claim for DLA; they must apply for PIP. However, according to the Government, existing claims for people aged 16-64 for DLA probably won’t be affected until 2015 or later.
There are two parts to PIP: Daily Living and Mobility (the ability to move around freely). You can get money for one or both.
- You may get the daily living part if you need help with, for example, making or eating food; washing yourself and using the loo; dressing/undressing; reading and communicating; looking after your medicines; making decisions about money
- You may get the mobility part if you need help with going out or moving around
- How much PIP you get is decided using a points system. The less able you are to do the activities listed above, the more points you get. If you get more than a certain number of points, you’ll get the Enhanced PIP rate; below it and you’ll get the Standard rate, or no PIP at all
(How) Can I claim PIP?
How much PIP you get paid depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself, but it will be somewhere between £21.55 and £138.05 (the same as DLA for Children).
You can be in or out of work to claim and your income and savings will not affect your claim.
You must have had your difficulties for at least three months, unless you’re terminally ill, in which case you can apply straight away.
To start your claim, call or text the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 917 2222. You will be assessed by an independent health professional to work out what help you need, and then regularly reassessed to make sure you’re getting the right support. You’ll get a letter explaining where to go for this.
You must contact the PIP helpline if your circumstances change or face a possible £50 fine. You can call 0345 850 3322 or text 0345 601 6677.
People who get the mobility part of PIP may be able to get a Blue Badge; get free public transport; lease a car, scooter or powered wheelchair using the Motability scheme [https://www.gov.uk/financial-help-disabled/vehicles-and-transport]; and have half price (or better) car tax.
People who get the daily living part of PIP and have a carer may also be able to get Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Credit. If you are in or about to start paid employment, you may get support from Access to Work, the Government’s scheme to help people overcome barriers to starting or keeping a job. Financial and practical support is available, such as help with job interviews, managing mental health conditions and transport costs, if you can’t take public transport or if you need to adapt your vehicle.