Tips on completing the Disability Living Allowance form
If you’re the parent of a child with vision impairment it’s likely that you can claim a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) that will help you with their care. If you spend more than 25 hours a week caring for you child, you can even claim an extra Carer’s Allowance.
Here’s our rundown of how to apply and get the financial support you need.
First you need to check the government’s criteria to see if you are eligible to apply.
In summary your child must:
- Be under 16 years of age
- Need extra care or have walking difficulties (i.e. they need more care than a child of the same age who does not have a disability)
- Be in Great Britain, another European Economic Area country or Switzerland when you claim (there are some exceptions for example, family members in the Armed Forces)
- Have lived in Great Britain for two of the last three years if they are over three years old
- Have lived in Great Britain for at least 26 of the last 156 weeks if they are between six months and three years
- Have lived in Great Britain for at least 13 weeks if they are under six months old
- Not be subject to immigration control
Some other important points to note:
- The rules of residence do not normally apply if your child is terminally ill
- Your child must have had difficulties for at least three months (again this does not apply if your child is terminally ill)
- Disability Living Allowance is only available up to the age of 16, but after that you can apply for Personal Independence Payment (see more at the end of this guide)
- Possible indications of a vision impairment
- Eye conditions in children
- Early diagnosis
- Common misconceptions about vision impairment
- Tips on completing Disability Living Allowance and Carer’s Allowance Forms
- Professionals supporting your family
- Tips for parents on accessing social services
- Jargon buster
- Answering your child's questions about sight loss
- Supporting brothers and sisters
- Coping with the loss of your dog
When should I apply?
Disability Living Allowance components
Disability Living Allowance is made up of two components: the care component and the mobility component.
How do I apply for Disability Living Allowance on behalf of my child?
To claim Disability Living Allowance for a child you need to be their parent or look after them as if you’re their parent. This includes step-parents, guardians, grandparents, foster-parents or older brothers or sisters.
You can either find the claim form on the gov.uk website and print it off or phone the Disability Living Allowance helpline and ask them to send the form to you.
How do I fill in the Disability Living Allowance form?
Before you start filling in the form, keep in mind the extra attention your child needs due to their vision impairment. You must emphasise what your child can only do with help. You should also only focus only on your child with a vision impairment and the support you provide for them.
What happens next?
- The Department for Work and Pensions will acknowledge your application.
- The time between applying and receiving a decision then varies from region to region. It could be as early as two weeks, or as late as four months. If you want to check on progress, ring your Benefit Office, quoting your child’s National Insurance number (this will on your application acknowledgement letter)
If your child receives the care component of Disability Living Allowance based on the middle or higher rates, you may be entitled to additional funds from a Carer’s Allowance. To qualify you need to prove you spend more than 35 hours a week caring for your child during the day or night.
A few points to note:
- You do not have to live with the person you are caring for, but you will need to prove you spend the time you claim
- If you care for your child and go to work, there is an earning limit per week and you must not be in full time education
- You are unable to receive Carer’s Allowance if you are in receipt of certain benefits
If you are receiving income support and claim Carer’s Allowance you may also qualify for Carer’s Premium. You will not receive this automatically, so make sure you claim. The amount of Carer’s Allowance will be deducted from your Income Support, but it is worth claiming for both benefits.
Also note that if at any time you stop receiving Disability Living Allowance for your child, you will no longer be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance. It is your responsibility to notify the Carer’s Allowance Unit.
For the latest information visit the Carer’s Allowance section on the government website.
What happens when my child reaches 16?
If your child is over 16 years you can no longer claim Disability Living Allowance, but you can claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If your child is aged 16 years or over and already gets a DLA, you will receive a letter telling you when they will transfer from DLA to PIP. More information on PIP is available on gov.uk.