3. Eligibility

Most people over 16 must apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead of DLA - but you may be able to make a new DLA claim if all the following apply:

  • you were 65 or over on 8 April 2013
  • you stopped getting DLA after the age of 65
  • you make a new claim to DLA within 12 months

One or both of the following must also be true:

  • you need help looking after yourself
  • you have walking difficulties

If you have an existing DLA claim, use the PIP checker to find out if and when it will be affected by PIP.

If you need help looking after yourself

You might get the care part of DLA if you:

  • need help with things like washing, dressing, eating, using the toilet or communicating your needs
  • need supervision to avoid putting yourself or others in danger
  • need someone with you when you’re on dialysis
  • can’t prepare a cooked main meal

You can get this part if no-one is actually giving you the care you need, or you live alone.

If you have walking difficulties

You might get this part of DLA if, when using your normal aid, you:

  • can’t walk
  • can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort
  • could become very ill if you try to walk

You might also get it if you:

  • have no feet or legs
  • are assessed as 100% blind and at least 80% deaf and you need someone with you when outdoors
  • are severely mentally impaired with severe behavioural problems and get the highest rate of care for DLA
  • need supervision most of the time when walking outdoors
  • are certified as severely sight impaired and you were aged between 3 and 64 on 11 April 2011

You must tell DWP if your circumstances change, eg your condition improves or you need more help.


You might get a letter saying you need to attend an assessment to check the level of help you need. The letter explains why, and where you must go. Your benefit may be stopped if you don’t go.

At the assessment, you’ll be asked for identification. You can use a passport or any 3 of the following:

  • birth certificate
  • a full driving licence
  • life assurance policy
  • bank statements