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Ask the expert! Round up of our Facebook Q&A on DLA

Thursday 25th June 2020

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is the main benefit for disabled children and is there to help meet the extra costs of being disabled. Families we speak to describe getting this benefit as 'life-changing'.

Any child who has a disability or illness might qualify for DLA, and you don't need to wait for a formal diagnosis to make a claim. It is sufficient that they have some form of disability. However, you will need to show that your child needs substantially more care or supervision than other children of the same age who don't have a disability or health condition.

We get so many enquiries on our helpline about the rules for claiming DLA we decided to hold a special Facebook Q&A last week focusing on claiming DLA. The Q&A was hosted by our Family Finance advisers from our helpline team, and here are just a couple of the questions.

Does home educating my child affect a DLA claim?

One parent asked if there are any implications of  home-educating their child for claiming DLA. Family Finance adviser Derek was able to reassure her that because DLA is based how much extra care or supervision a child needs, it doesn't really matter whether those needs are being met by parents or by someone else such as staff at a school. What's important is that a child has a greater need for care or supervision - not who is meeting those needs.

And it may be helpful to know that any extra help with learning that parents need to provide to help a child overcome their disability (for example, support to a child with dyslexia) counts as care when assessing DLA, so it's important to note this on the form.

My child's DLA has been extended in coronavirus - will I have to fill out the form again?

Another parent had just sent in their DLA renewal forms, but had had their DLA extended for six months because of the coronavirus pandemic. They wanted to know if they would need to fill in new renewal forms for their child in six months' time. Family Finance adviser Caroline reassured her that it is very likely that the DLA Unit will use the renewal form she'd already submitted to make a decision, so she would not have to complete the form again.

However, she would have to submit a new form if there were any changes to her child's needs during the six months that she wished them to also consider.

As always when it comes to DLA parents had lots of questions. Thank you to everyone who took part! You can read back through the Q&A on our Facebook page.

Related information

We have lots of information about DLA and other benefits on our website. Take a look at our Common Questions Tool for information about some of the most popular topics we get asked about.

Or see our information on DLA on our website

We have recently updated our Guide to claiming Disability Living Allowance for children with information about what happens to your child's DLA during the coronavirus pandemic. It also takes you through how to answer all the questions on the DLA form.