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DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is the most important benefit available for both children and adults with a disability condition. The allowance helps the concerned person meet the additional costs that an individual might have to incur as a result of their child's disability. DLA is a tax-free assistance made available for people with disability, who need help with care costs or mobility. DLA comprises of two components – Care component and Mobility component. Depending on the situation, an individual may qualify for either one or both components

How to claim Carer's Allowance

Care component

In case a child needs additional help – personal care or more than the usual watching over of personal needs, he / she may qualify under the care component of DLA. The care component comprises of three different rates which vary on how much additional care is needed. Following is the amount of DLA paid on a weekly basis depending on the level of assistance a person needs

Care component Rate per week* (£) Level of assistance needed
Lowest 22.00 Assistance required on some specific days or with preparing cooked meals
Middle 55.65 Assistance during the day, supervision at night or somebody required to provide help while on dialysis
Uppermost 83.10 Lend a hand or supervise all the way through both day and night, or if a person is terminally ill
*applicable rate per week from April 2017 - March 2018

Mobility component

The mobility component is paid for people / children who face difficult while moving around. The mobility component has two different rate categories depending on nature of the mobility problem. The lower rate mobility component is applicable for an individual of age five and is pertinent to a child who needs extra supervision or guidance. The higher rate mobility component is applicable for a child from age three and is pertinent for someone with stern walking difficult, or someone who is deaf & blind or severely visually impaired. It is also applicable for children with severe behavioural nuisances

DLA is more often than not paid every 4 weeks. All allowances, benefits, and pensions are paid straight into an individual's bank account, building society or credit union account. In case the amount is due to be paid on a bank holiday, the concerned person will receive the amount on the last working day

MOBILITY COMPONENT – DLA

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is only obtainable by new claims from children under 16. Since 20 June 2016, DLA has been replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people aged 16 to 64 years. DLA has been done away with for all new claims for individuals aged between 16 and 65. For this age group, all new claims should be for PIP. DLA for children may help with the extra cost incurred for taking care of a child who is below 16 years of age and has trouble walking or needs assistance than a child who doesn't have any disability at the same age. An individual can claim DLA for a child as long as he / she takes care of the child as their parent. 'Parent' includes other relations such as grandparents; guardians; foster-parents; older sister or brother; step-parents

If a child has mobility needs due to disability or illness, he / she may be able to claim DLA. To be able to get the mobility component of DLA, the disability must be serious enough for a child to have any of the below mentioned walking difficulties:

  • A child has no feet or legs
  • A child is seriously mentally impaired with stern behavioural problems and is eligible for the highest rate of care component
  • Due to a physical disability, a child is powerless or almost unable to walk without serious uneasiness, or at risk of put in danger his / her life or resulting in worsening the health condition by putting effort to walk
  • A child is assessed to be 100% disabled since there is loss of eyesight and not less than 80% disabled (due to deafness); somebody is always required when the child is out of doors
  • Guidance or monitoring is required most of the time while walking out of doors in an unknown place

As stated earlier, there are two rates of the mobility component and these rates depend on the kind of disability an individual is effected with. First is the 'Lower rate' which is applicable if guidance or supervision is needed out of doors. Second is the 'Higher rate' which is applicable if there are any other, sterner, walking difficulties. Mobility component is referred to as Mobility Allowance

Mobility component Rate per week* (£) Level of assistance needed
Lowest £22 Assistance or supervision outdoors
*applicable rate per week from April 2017 - March 2018

Eligibility for DLA

DLA can be claimed if a person is below 16 years if age. Additionally, DLA will continue for individuals who are born on or before 8 April 1948. To be eligible to qualify for mobility part of DLA the following criteria must be met:

  • An individual cannot walk
  • An individual is able to walk a small distance without severe discomfort
  • Health conditions deteriorate if a person tries to walk for sometime
  • In addition, to the above mentioned conditions, a person might be able to get DLA if:
  • The concerned person has no feet or legs
  • If a person is assessed as 100% blind and 80% deaf and somebody is required when an individual is outdoors
  • Suffering from severe mentally impaired along with severe behavioural problems; eligible to avail the highest rate of care for DLA
  • Assistance required while walking outdoors, most of the time
  • Severely sight impaired and aged between 3 and 64 on 11 April 2011

Assessments

An individual might get a letter stating that they need to be present for an assessment check. The letter will provide details on why the assessment is required and where the concerned person has to go. In case a person decided not to attend the assessment, there are possibilities that the benefits may be put on hold. At the assessment, the concerned person will have to provide proof of identification – a passport or any 3 of the below mentioned documents:

  • a full driving licence
  • birth certificate
  • bank statements
  • life assurance policy

Change of circumstances

An individual must contact the Disability Service Centre in case their circumstances change. It is imperative to inform the centre as this might affect the level of DLA an individual get. For example:

  • the level of assistance a person needs or condition changes
  • a person goes into hospital for more than 4 weeks
  • a person goes abroad for more than 13 weeks
  • a person is held in detention or imprisoned
  • The Disability Service Centre can also be contacted for the following amendments:
  • change of address, name, or bank details
  • stop receiving benefits
  • change of doctor's details

An individual could be fined £50 and have to repay overpaid benefits if they do not report changes to the Disability Service Centre and are overpaid as a result. DNS Accountants can help individuals with any issues regarding Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Mobility Allowance

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