Disability Living Allowance
For disabled people aged 16 to 64, Disability Living Allowance is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
If you currently receive Disability Living Allowance as an adult, you may be reassessed at some point for transfer to PIP.
Important changes to Disability Living Allowance
It is no longer possible for people aged between 16 and 64 to make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance. Instead, you will need to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Disability Living Allowance will continue to be available to new claimants under 16.
If you are aged 65 or over and have care or supervision needs, you should consider claiming Attendance Allowance instead.
If you already receive Disability Living Allowance and your circumstances change, you will normally be invited to claim PIP. You will not have the choice to stay on Disability Living Allowance.
You will be asked to claim PIP if:
- you report a change in your care or mobility needs
- you reach the end of an existing award of Disability Living Allowance, or
- you reach the age of 16 (unless you are terminally ill)
Other existing claimants are also now being invited to claim PIP, chosen at random by the Department for Work and Pensions (the Disability and Carers Service in Northern Ireland).
This will not apply, however, if you were aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 (20 June 2016 in Northern Ireland) – in this case, you will remain on Disability Living Allowance.
If you think you have grounds for a review of your Disability Living Allowance, you should contact our free confidential helpline 0808 800 0303.
It is very important that if you are asking for a review of the benefit you understand the possible consequences.
The amount of money you receive may go up or down.
What is Disability Living Allowance?
Disability Living Allowance is a benefit for you, not for a carer and you don’t need to have someone looking after you to qualify.
If you are awarded this benefit, it is entirely up to you how you use it. You can still claim if you are in employment.
Disability Living Allowance has two parts or ‘components’. You can get either component or both together, depending on your condition.
1. The care component
This part is paid to people who need help looking after themselves or need someone to make sure they’re safe.
There are 3 rates to this component and the rate you are awarded depends on the amount of care or supervision you need. It is based on the help you need – not on the help you actually get.
It doesn’t matter whether you live alone or with other people or if you receive a lot of help or a little.
2. The mobility component
This is paid to people who have problems walking around outside the home. It has 2 rates and the rate you are awarded depends on the nature of your walking difficulties.
How much will I get from Disability Living Allowance?
You can get 1 of 3 rates of the care component and 1 of 2 rates of the mobility component. All the rates are weekly.
- Highest rate: £85.60
- Middle rate: £57.30
- Lowest rate: £22.65
- Higher rate: £59.75
- Lower rate: £22.65
Does my Disability Living Allowance affect any other benefits?
It can be paid in addition to any other social security benefits.
Disability Living Allowance is not taxable.
It is not based on National Insurance contributions and any income or savings you may have do not affect it.
How is Disability Living Allowance paid?
Disability Living Allowance is normally paid every 4 weeks into a bank, building society or Post Office card account.
What happens if I go into hospital or a care home?
If you go into hospital, Disability Living Allowance will stop after a total of 4 weeks (either in one stay, or several stays, where the gaps between stays are no more than 4 weeks each time). It can restart when you return home.
Disability Living Allowance will not be affected by a hospital stay if you are aged under 18.
If you pay your own fees for the care home without help from the local authority or health service, your Disability Living Allowance can continue to be paid.
If the local authority helps with the fees, the care component will stop after a total of 4 weeks (either in one stay, or several stays, where the gaps between stays are no more than 4 weeks each time). It can restart when you return home.
The mobility component is not affected even if the local authority helps with the fees.
If a nursing home is paid for by the health service, both the care and mobility components will usually stop after 4 weeks and can restart when you return home.
How long is Disability Living Allowance awarded for?
Disability Living Allowance is awarded for a fixed period of time.
This could be for just one year, or a longer period if your condition is not likely to change.
What if my condition changes?
If you have only one component of Disability Living Allowance or a lower rate of one component and your condition gets worse, you can ask for your claim to be reviewed.
Be aware, however, that if you were aged under 65 on 8 April 2013 (20 June 2016 in Northern Ireland) and your claim is reviewed, you will usually be invited to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) rather than continue on Disability Living Allowance (see Important changes to Disability Living Allowance section above).
Since the rules for PIP are different to those for Disability Living Allowance (and are generally tighter), you should try to get advice and information on the PIP claims process before asking for a review.
If you were aged 65 or over on the qualifying date in 2013, you will remain on Disability Living Allowance even if your claim is reviewed.
If you think you have grounds for a review of your Disability Living Allowance, contact our free confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303 for more information.
Download PDF or order a printed copy
Helpline and local advisers
Our helpline and Parkinson's local advisers are here to answer any questions you have about advanced Disability Living Allowance.
Call us on 0808 800 0303.