Carers and disability benefits

This section covers Disability living allowance, Personal Independence payment that your child may be entitled to as well as Carers allowance that you may be eligible for if you care for your child and meet the criteria. 

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Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) can be claimed for children under 16 who have additional care needs or difficulty with walking caused by a disability or health condition. 
DLA is not means tested, so your income and savings are not taken into consideration. DLA can be awarded at several different rates depending on the level of additional care that your child needs.

For a detailed explanation on DLA for children, how to apply and contact details see  DLA on the Gov.uk website. 

For further help in applying for DLA, ‘Contact, for families with children with a disability’ have information and fact sheets relating to disability living allowance on their website.

Cerebra provides a guide to disability living allowance.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

After your child turns 16, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) ends and is replaced with Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Your child will not automatically receive PIP. You will normally receive a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) explaining that your child will need to claim PIP instead of DLA and advising how to make the claim. This may happen as they approach their 16th birthday, however, sometimes you are contacted much later depending on the length of the DLA award.

For a detailed explanation of Personal Independence Payments (PIP), how to apply and contact details further information is available on the Gov.uk website.

There are a number of services that can provide you with support when applying for PIP:

Citizens Advice has information about moving from DLA to PIP on their website

Contact is a charity for families who have children with a disability; they have designed a useful fact sheet explaining Personal Independent Payments

Disability Rights UK have guides on making a claim for personal independence payment 

Turn 2 Us provide further information on PIP on their website

Carers allowance

If you are awarded disability living allowance (DLA) or personal independence payment (PIP) for your child, you may also be able to claim carers allowance for yourself.

Carers allowance is a benefit paid to carers who regularly spend at least 35 hours per week caring for a disabled person if they receive certain benefits. The carer must be earning below a certain amount each week and it can affect the other benefits that you might receive.  

Further information and how to apply for carers allowance can be found on the Gov.UK website Carers allowance.

The ‘Contact' charity have designed a useful factsheet explaining more about Carers Allowance.

Carers Support Centre also has information about carers allowance.