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Disability Living Allowance for children under the age of 16

Disability Living Allowance can be claimed by the person responsible for a child whose care/supervision needs are substantially in excess of a child of the same age who does not have a disability or for the lower rate mobility component substantially more supervision whilst outside walking than other children. DLA is made up of two components, a care component and a mobility component. The child would have needed the extra help for at least 3 months and will need it for a further 6 months. If the child is terminally ill this backward and forward test does not apply and the ‘substantially in excess’ rule does not apply for the care component

Conditions of Entitlement

Care Component

The care component is paid if the child needs substantially more help with ‘bodily functions’ than another child of a similar age who does not have a disability. ‘Bodily functions’ are speaking, hearing, seeing, sleeping, getting up or going to bed, dressing, bathing, toileting, sitting, moving about, eating, drinking or dealing with medication or therapy.

Or the child needs substantially more supervision i.e. somebody to keep an eye on them to stop them being a danger to themselves or others.

It is paid at three rates. The high rate is paid if the child needs help throughout the day and night. The middle rate is paid if the child needs help either during the day or at night. The low rate is paid if the child needs care (but not supervision) for part of the day.

Mobility Component

The mobility component has two rates, the rules are different for both rates. Although there isn’t a specified distance the guideline is approximately 50 metres.

The high rate is not paid until a child is 3 or over and is for children who have physical difficulties walking or they are unable to walk. Or the child has severe behavioural problems and is in receipt of high rate care component. Or they have severe behavioural problems due to a physical cause, these may include Down’s Syndrome or Autism.

The low rate is paid to children who are 5 or over, who can walk but need extra guidance or supervision outside. It doesn’t matter if they do not need extra help in a place they know well, as long as they need help in places that they do not know well. For example they may have fits or asthma attacks.

When filling in the form a picture needs to be painted of the child’s needs, therefore it is a good idea for the parent/carer to keep a comprehensive diary of the child’s needs.


Welfare Rights Unit

Telephone Advice Service

01708 434444


Havering Citizens Advice Bureau:

Victoria Road Bureau

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 09.00am – 12.30pm,

1pm – 3pm (information only)

Harold Hill Library

Hilldene Avenue

Mondays 10am - 2pm

Orchard Village Estate Office


Mondays 10am – 12 noon

Hornchurch Library

North Street

Mondays and Thursdays 10am – 2pm

Telephone Support 01708 629902

Fridays 1pm – 3pm

E mail via website

The Pension, Disability and Carers Service

Disability and Carers Service

Tel: 0345 712 3456

Text phone: 0345 722 4433

Carers Allowance Unit

Tel: 0345 608 4321

Text phone: 0345 604 5312

The Pension Service

Tel: 0345 60 60 265

Text phone: 0345 60 60 285

Job Centre Plus

Job Centre Claim Line

Tel: 0800 055 66 88

Inland Revenue

Tax Credits

Tel: 0345 300 3900

Child Benefit

Tel: 0300 200 3100

The Adjudicator’s Office

Tel: 0300 057 1111

Benefits and tax credits have complex rules and exclusions. Information provided here is as a guide only rather than a full statement of the rules and regulations. Information provided by Welfare Rghts, Havering Adult Social Services, April 2016.

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