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 might 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 £23.70 and £152.15 a week, depending on the needs of your child.

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 over 16 and under State Pension age.

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 might 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 over 16 and under State Pension age 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 age 16.

How much is it?

You could get between £23.70 and £152.15 a week, depending on the needs of your child.

How to claim?

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

More information about PIP in Northern Ireland: nidirect website.

Help with housing costs if your child has a disability

Universal Credit housing costs element

Who is it for?

More of your rent could be covered if a child in your household has a disability or long-term health condition.

Universal Credit has replaced Housing Benefit as support if
you’re on a low income and need help with paying your rent or mortgage, you might be able to claim the housing costs element of Universal Credit.

If you’re already getting Housing Benefit, check with your local council to see if more of your rent can be covered.

Support for mortgage interest

If you’re a homeowner, and getting certain means-tested benefits including Universal Credit, you might be able to apply for support for mortgage, interest, which is paid as a loan.

Find out more about Support for mortgage interest in our guide

How to claim?

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus/Jobs and Benefits Office or local council office.

Claim online at GOV.UK.

Help with Council Tax

Who is it for?

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

Council Tax Reduction schemes are run by local councils in England, Wales and Scotland.

You can find out more on 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.

Rate relief if you live in Northern Ireland

You can find out more about rate relief at Housing Advice NI

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:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit.

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 after the temperature in your area has dropped below 0°C for seven consecutive days or more.

You can find out more at GOV.UK – Cold Weather Payment.

Child Tax Credit if your child has a disability

Who is it for?

If you need extra help with the costs of bringing up children, you can now only make a new claim for Child Tax Credit if you’re getting Working Tax Credit.

If you don’t, you’ll have to claim Universal Credit instead.

If you’re already getting Child Tax Credit and your child develops a disability or long-term health condition, you might
be able to claim an additional disabled premium for them.

Depending your child’s condition and the support they need, you could get between £3,435 and £4,825 a year (2021-22) as part of your Child Tax Credit payment.

Find out more about Child Tax Credit on the GOV.UK website

Universal Credit if your child has a long-term health condition or disability

If you’re making a new claim for help with the costs of bringing up a sick or disabled child and don’t qualify for Child Tax Credit, you’ll now have to claim the Child Element of Universal Credit and the Disabled child addition.

Depending on your child’s condition and the support they need, you could get from £128.89 to £402.41 a month (2021-22) as part of your Universal Credit payment.

You might also be able to claim the carer’s element of Universal Credit as well if you spend a lot of time caring for your child.

The two-child rule

Usually Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit support is limited to the first two children if any were born after 06 April 2017. However, all disabled children are protected.

So if you make a new claim you’ll still be able to get the disabled premium or disabled child addition for any of your children who are sick or disabled.

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.

How to claim?

Call Motability on 0300 456 4566.

Find out more on the Motability website.

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.

How to claim?

Apply online on the GOV.UK website or contact your local council.

For more information visit GOV.UK – Blue Badge Scheme.

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.

You can no longer make a new claim for Income Support, you’ll need to make a claim for Universal Credit instead.

How to claim?

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

For more information visit GOV.UK – Income Support.

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 or the daily living component of PIP if they’re aged over 16.

More information: GOV.UK – Carer’s Allowance

If you live in Scotland, carers will also get a supplementary payment of £230.10 a year. This will be made in two payments.

For more information, please visit the Scottish Government websiteopens in new window.

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 might 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’ll 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: 0800 121 4600
  • 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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