4. How to claim

Use the DLA claim form to apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children under 16.

The form tells you where to send your application.

You can order a printed form by telephoning the Disability Living Allowance helpline.

Disability Living Allowance
Telephone: 0345 712 3456
Textphone: 0345 722 4433
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Alternative formats

Call to ask for alternative formats, such as braille, large print or audio CD.

What you need to know

DLA can only be claimed for children under 16 - anyone over 16 must apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

You can claim DLA for a child as long as you look after them as if you’re their parent. ‘Parent’ includes step-parents, guardians, grandparents, foster-parents, and even older brothers or sisters.

DLA can’t be backdated. The date of your claim will usually be the date the form is received or the date you call the enquiry line (if you return the claim pack within 6 weeks).

It usually takes 40 working days to deal with a DLA claim.

The child may need an assessment to complete the application.

Terminal illness

There are special rules if the child is not expected to live more than 6 months, so they can get DLA more quickly. You must:

  • complete a DLA claim form
  • ask a doctor or other healthcare professional for form DS1500 - they’ll either fill it in and give the form to you or send it directly to DWP

Appeal a decision

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision. You must usually ask for ‘mandatory reconsideration’ before you appeal.