Who can claim?

New claims can only be made for children aged under 16. Although some people aged 16 and over may have an existing claim.

Basic qualifying period, experienced difficulties for 3 months for the disability test and expected to continue for a further 6 months. Some exceptions to the qualifying period rule.

The questions consider if there is difficulty performing a task and how this may be different to another child of the same age. Explain the difficulties e.g. through:

  • Pain/severe discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Risk/safety
  • Time taken (time consuming)
  • Weakness/coordination/dexterity problems
  • Sensory impairment
  • Severe Mental Impairment

Things to consider

  • Ability to learn tasks
  • Ability to apply things that have been learned
  • Frustrations
  • Understanding others
  • Being understood
  • Being unwilling to communicate
  • Social skills
  • Play

Disability Living Allowance considers bodily functions and takes in:

  • Breathing
  • Hearing/Seeing
  • Eating/drinking
  • Walking/Sitting
  • Sleeping/getting in and out of bed
  • Dressing/undressing
  • Going to the toilet
  • Getting in/out of the bath/washing
  • Communicating
  • Help with medication/treatment
  • Anything to do with the body and how it works

The mobility test looks at whether:

  • You are unable to walk
  • Virtually unable to walk
  • You have no legs or feet
  • You have severe visual impairment, decided by health as vision (3/60)(6/60)
  • You are both deaf and blind
  • Or they are entitled to high rate care with a severe mental impairment with extremely disruptive and dangerous behavioural problems

Levels of benefit

Mobility has 2 rates – high rate and low rate:

  • From age 3 you can only qualify for the higher rate of the mobility component
  • From age 5 you can be assessed for lower or higher rate
  • Mobility will look stepping one foot in front of another, effect of exertion, visual impairment, deaf/blind, distance over which, speed at which, length of time or manner that a child can progress on foot without severe discomfort.

Care has 3 rates-high rate, middle rate and low rate

High rate assessed when:

  • If throughout the day they need frequent (more than once/twice) attention for bodily function or continual supervision to avoid substantial danger.
  • And at night prolonged or repeated  attention  to avoid danger to self or others, someone needs to be awake for prolonged ( at least 20 minutes) or frequent periods
  • Middle rate -assessed for needs either day or night
  • Low rate- assessed for attention is needed for a significant portion of the day (single or repeated, which means 2 or more time, periods)

You can provide supporting information from someone who knows about the difficulties.

Reports could be from:

  • Paediatrician
  • GP or specialist nurse
  • Other health professionals
  • Education
  • Social care professional
  • Paid carer

How to claim

  • Download, fill in on screen and print
  • Print and fill in by pen
  • Order form on telephone-0800 121 4600

If you don’t agree with the award decision

If you don’t agree with the award decision you must first ask for a mandatory reconsideration where they look again at the decision. This should be done within a month of the date on your decision letter. You can send in more information or new support letters from professionals who know about your difficulties. If the result still isn’t in your favour you can request an appeal which is sent to the tribunal service. This should be done within a month of the date on the mandatory reconsideration decision letter.

You can lose or gain at the appeal, as they look at the whole decision again. Seek advice.

If you ask for a review as your health has changed:

  • Depending on your age your award may end and you could be asked to claim Personal Independence Payment instead. Seek advice.
  • Otherwise you can lose or gain when you get a review of your entitlement, as they look at the whole decision again. Seek advice.