Disability benefits and entitlements for children

If your child has a disability or long-term health condition, you might be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for them as well as other financial support. This page explains more about the disability benefits and entitlements your child might qualify for and how to claim them.

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance is a regular payment to help with the extra costs of daily living or mobility because your child has a long-term health condition or disability.

It isn’t means-tested. This means you may able to claim the benefit for your child regardless of your income or how much you have in savings.

Who is it for?

  • Children aged from three months to 16 who need extra help with daily living tasks, or
  • Children aged from three years to 16 who need help with mobility (getting about).

How much is it? You could get between £21.80 and £139.75 a week, depending on the needs of your child.

More information: GOV.UK – Disability Living Allowance

How to claim: Claim online on the GOV.UK website

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

What is PIP? Personal Independence Payment has replaced DLA for people aged 16 to 64.

It is a payment that helps with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long-term health condition.

It isn’t means-tested. This means you may be able to claim the benefit for your child when they turn 16, regardless of your income or how much you have in savings.

Who is it for? People aged 16 to 64 who need help with daily living tasks or mobility (getting around).

If your child is aged 16 or over and you’re making a new claim for help with the extra costs of disability, you’ll need to claim PIP.

If your child is already getting DLA, you will be invited to make a new claim for PIP when they reach age16.

How much is it?

You could get between £21.80 and £139.75 a week, depending on the needs of your child.

More information: GOV.UK – Personal Independence Payment

More information about PIP in Northern Ireland: nidirect website

How to claim: Call the PIP claim line on 0800 917 2222 or Textphone on 0800 917 7777.

Help with housing costs if your child has a disability

Housing Benefit

Who is it for? A household paying rent. More of your rent may be covered if a child in your household has a disability or long-term health condition.

Housing Benefit will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

More information: GOV.UK – Housing Benefit

How to claim: Contact your local Jobcentre Plus/Jobs and Benefits Office or local council office.

Help with Council Tax

Who is it for? The person responsible for paying Council Tax. More of your bill may be covered if a child in your household has a disability or long-term health condition.

Council Tax Benefit has now been replaced by Council Tax Reduction schemes run by local councils in England, Wales and Scotland.

More information: Your local council website.

How to claim: In England contact your local council to apply for their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

In Scotland contact your local authority to find out about their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

In Wales contact your local authority to find out about their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

Cold Weather Payment

Who is it for? You might be able to get a Cold Weather payment to help with home heating costs if your child has a long-term health condition or disability and you’re getting one of these benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

More information: GOV.UK – Cold Weather Payment

How to claim: You don’t need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically.

Child Tax Credit if your child has a disability

Who is it for? Anyone with responsibility for a child who normally lives with them. How much you get will depend on your household income.

If your child has a disability or long-term health condition, you may able to claim an additional disabled premium for them.

Child Tax Credit will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

Changes to Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit

From April 2017, there are changes to who can get Child Tax Credits and Universal Credit, limiting support to the first two children.

However, all disabled children are protected. So if you make a new claim after this date, you will still be able to get the disabled premium for any of your children who are disabled.

If you already have more than two children and are getting Child Tax Credits or Universal Credit, you won’t be affected by the changes.

More information: Use the tax credits calculator on the HM Revenue & Customs website to find out if you qualify and get a rough idea of how much you could be entitled to.

How to claim: Call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

Help with getting about – Motability and Blue Badge Schemes

Motability Scheme

Who is it for? People getting the higher rate mobility element of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment – the scheme can provide a car, motorised wheelchair or scooter.

More information: Find out more on the Motability website.

How to claim: Call Motability on 0300 456 4566.

Blue Badge Scheme

Who is it for? The Blue Badge scheme helps those with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport to park close to where they need to go. Charges and entitlement rules for the Blue Badge scheme vary across the UK.

More information: GOV.UK – Blue Badge Scheme

How to claim: Apply online on the GOV.UK website or contact your local council.

Benefits if you’re a carer

Income Support

Who is it for? Parents who can’t work because they are caring for a disabled child.

Income Support will be gradually replaced by Universal Credit.

More information: GOV.UK – Income Support

How to claim: Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

Carer’s Allowance

Who is it for? If you’re spending at least 35 hours a week caring for a child who gets the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance.

More information: GOV.UK – Carer’s Allowance

How to claim: Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

Help with claiming disability benefits for your child

Top tip

More than £16 billion in means-tested benefits and tax credits currently goes unclaimed every year. Even if you’re not sure, make a claim – you may be surprised what you could get.

Source: Citizens Advice

Disability benefits are there to help you. However, working out if your child is eligible and filling in the forms can be really complicated.

If you’re claiming DLA or PIP for your child, they will usually need to be medically assessed as part of the claim process.

To get free expert help and advice, call these helplines to speak to an adviser. While the disability benefit system is being reformed, it is particularly important to know where to get specialist help if you need it.

  • Disability Benefits Helpline: 03457 123 456
  • Contact a Family Helpline: 0808 808 3555
  • Enter your postcode on the Citizens Advice website to find your local bureau.

Read our guide Make sure you’re getting the right entitlements

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