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Fees & Funding > Disability Living Allowance (DLA) For Adults

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) For Adults

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Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit for people with a disability or health condition who need some extra financial support. They may need this support because of the care they require, or to help them get from one place to another.

Although Disability Living Allowance is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP), many people still claim it.

In this article, we’ve gone over how it works, whether you’re able to claim Disability Living Allowance, how much you could potentially receive and whether your other benefits will be affected.


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In this article:

  1. What is Disability Living Allowance?
  2. Are you eligible?
  3. Disability Living Allowance rates
  4. How will you be paid?
  5. How to claim
  6. What to do if your circumstances change
  7. Challenging a decision
  8. Is Disability Living Allowance affected by other benefits?
  9. What conditions qualify for Disability Living Allowance?



What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?

This is a regular payment which aims to help disabled people who require financial assistance with either their care or mobility needs. Some people may need financial aid for both of these things.

The amount of money you receive depends on which components you’re eligible for, and which rate within each component you’re eligible for (more on this later).

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit and isn’t means-tested, meaning your income and savings won’t be taken into account (like they would through a financial assessment).

DLA is being replaced by other benefits, including Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance - depending on your age.

This process of being replaced by other benefits began for most people between 2013 and 2015. This change was made to better reflect the way we understand disability in a modern society.


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Are You Eligible For Disability Living Allowance?

To be eligible, you’ll need to meet either the ‘care component’ or ‘mobility component’ of DLA. We’ve explained exactly what these components are in the ‘Disability Living Allowance Rates’ section.

We also have a guide explaining what illnesses qualify for Disability Living Allowance.


If you’re over 16

If you aren’t already claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and are aged 16 years or older, you’re unable to apply for it.

However, if you were born before 8th April 1948 and are currently claiming DLA, you can continue to do so.

If you’re currently claiming DLA and are aged between 16 and the State Pension age (currently 66 for men and women in the UK), you’ll be written to by the Department for Work and Pensions, telling you when your DLA will end and when you’ll be required to switch over to a different benefit.


The alternative benefits you could be eligible for are:

  • Personal Independence Payment - If you live in England or Wales and haven’t reached the State Pension age

  • Adult Disability Payment - If you live in Scotland and haven’t reached the State Pension age

  • Attendance Allowance - If you’ve reached the State Pension age and don’t already receive Disability Living Allowance


If you’re under 16

If you’re aged under 16 years old and live in England or Wales, you’re eligible to apply for Disability Living Allowance.

Meanwhile, people living in Scotland can instead apply for Child Disability Payment.





Disability Living Allowance Rates

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) comprises two components - the ‘care component’ and the ‘mobility component’.

The amount you receive depends on which of the following rates you’re eligible for. Below, we’ve provided the 2023/2024 rates for DLA.


Care component

This is paid at three different rates - lowest, middle and highest - depending on your specific care needs.

People eligible for the care component of DLA often require assistance with day-to-day tasks such as washing, getting dressed and cooking.

You’ll be eligible for the care component if you live alone or you’re not receiving the care and support you need.

Care Component Weekly Rate Four-Weekly Rate The Support You’ll Require
Lowest £26.90 £107.60 You only require assistance for some of the day, or with cooking meals.
Middle £68.10 £272.40 You need frequent help or supervision during the day and some degree of supervision at night.
Highest £101.75 £407.00 You need constant help or supervision during the day and at night.

Mobility component

This is paid at two different rates - lower and higher - depending on how tough you find it to get around.

People eligible for the mobility component of DLA will have limited mobility to some degree.

Mobility Component Weekly Rate Four-Weekly Rate The Support You’ll Require
Lower £26.90 £107.60 You need some degree of guidance or supervision when outdoors. This could be due to a physical or mental disability.
Higher £71.00 £284.00 You have a more severe disability which limits your mobility. You may only be able to walk short distances unaided, or be unable to walk outdoors at all.



How Will You Be Paid?

Disability Living Allowance is usually paid every four weeks. That’s why in the tables above, we’ve provided both a weekly and four-weekly rate.

Just like all other benefits, pensions and allowances, this will be paid directly into your chosen account, such as a bank account.





How To Claim

If you’re aged 16 or over, you’re unable to make a new Disability Living Allowance claim. You may instead be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment or Attendance Allowance.


If you already receive DLA

If you already receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA), what happens next is determined by your age:

  • If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and were both before 8th April 1948, you’ll continue to receive DLA (provided you’re still eligible for it)

  • If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and were both after 8th April 1948, you’ll instead be re-assessed to determine your eligibility for PIP. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send you a letter if you need to move over to PIP




What To Do If Your Circumstances Change

If your circumstances change in some way when you’re already claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - and these changes may affect your entitlement to the benefit - you should let the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) know about this as soon as possible.

Changes could include the level of care you require increasing or decreasing, going abroad for a long period or permanently entering a care home.

Depending on your age, the DWP may ask you to instead claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Here’s the list of medical conditions that are eligible for PIP and the 2023 PIP rates.

In Northern Ireland, you can instead contact the Disability and Carers Service to report this change.


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Challenging a Decision

If a decision regarding Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independence Payment) has been made that you disagree with, you can ask for a ‘written statement of reasons’ which will then be sent to you.

If you believe the following decision to be incorrect as well (which will be made after you ask for a ‘written statement of reasons’), you can then ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to look into this decision. This is known as a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

If you don’t agree with this decision either, the next step is to appeal through the Tribunal Service which acts independently of the DWP.





Is Disability Living Allowance Affected By Other Benefits?

If you receive Disability Living Allowance, it may increase the amount you get from other benefits and credits, including:




What Conditions Qualify For Disability Living Allowance?

You don’t need to have a specific condition to qualify for Disability Living Allowance. Instead, you must have a disability and require support that falls under either the ‘care component’ or ‘mobility component’.






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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the criteria for Disability Living Allowance?

People eligible for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will have some kind of disability and will need assistance with either care or mobility-related costs. DLA has now been replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people aged between 16 and the State Pension age (currently 66 for men and women in the UK).

What conditions qualify for disability in the UK?

Numerous conditions qualify as a disability in the UK. If you have a physical or mental condition which has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ effect on your ability to lead a normal life and perform typical day-to-day activities, you’ll be classed as disabled under the Equality Act 2010.

How much is the full disability allowance in the UK?

If you qualify for the highest rate of both the care component and mobility component for Disability Living Allowance, this will total £156.90 per week. When paid on a four-weekly basis, this will total £627.60 every four weeks.

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