Disability Living Allowance for deaf children

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit for children under 16. There are two parts to DLA – the care component and the mobility component. It is possible for deaf children to claim both parts.
 
You can claim DLA for your deaf child no matter how much you earn, or the level of savings you have. It is not taxed, or counted as an income when other benefits are worked out. 

What is the care component?

The care component is for help with personal care, including hearing, speech and communication. It also includes extra supervision you have to give to prevent substantial danger to your child or anyone else. On the claim form you should include details of the help your child needs with:

  • lipreading
  • signing
  • making themselves understood
  • understanding what is being said
  • their education
  • having words explained.

DLA 1

If you have a baby or toddler with hearing aids or a cochlear implant, you should include any help they need with:

  • supervision if there is danger that they would put the aid or parts of it in their mouth
  • fitting and removing the aids or implant processor
  • cleaning and maintaining the aids.

Top

What is the mobility component?

You can claim the lower rate of the mobility component if your child is at least five and needs more supervision when walking outdoors than a child of the same age without disabilities.

Explain if your child needs someone with them when walking outdoors because they:

  • can’t hear dangers coming from behind
  • can’t judge the speed or direction of traffic
  • haven’t developed an awareness of road safety and personal safety, if this is because of their deafness or another disability
  • need to be close to you because they could not hear a warning shout
  • couldn’t communicate with strangers if lost
  • couldn’t cope in an emergency.

You can claim the higher rate of the mobility component if your child is at least three years old and:

  • has a disability that means they cannot walk or can hardly walk or has 100% vision loss and 80% hearing loss or
  • is blind or severely visually impaired or
  • has severe learning difficulties, severe behavioural problems and
  • gets the highest rate of the care component.

Top

How much can I claim?

You can claim the care component three months from when your baby or child has had care or mobility needs because of their deafness. DLA will only be awarded if it is expected that your child’s needs will continue for at least six months.

There are three weekly rates of the care component:

  • £21.80 – the lowest rate if your child needs help for part of the day
  • £55.10 – the middle rate if your child needs help throughout the day or more than once or for a prolonged period at night
  • £82.30 – the highest rate if your child needs help throughout the day and more than once or for a prolonged period at night.

There are two rates of the mobility component:

  • £21.80 – the lower rate if your child is five or over and can walk but needs someone to guide or supervise them
  • £57.45 – the higher rate if your child is three or over and has a disability that means they cannot walk or can hardly walk or is deaf and blind or has severe learning difficulties, severe behavioural problems and gets the highest rate of the care component.

These rates are for the period April 2015 to March 2016 and may change.

Top

My child lipreads very well. Can I claim?

Yes, if your child needs extra help to enable them to lipread. You must explain all the things you do to help your child to lipread:

When you want your child’s attention do you need to:

  • go into the same room as them?
  • touch them?
  • get to the same level as them?
  • make sure the light is on your face and there is nothing in the way?
  • turn off the TV, radio or other background noise?

When you have a conversation do you need to:

  • use mime and gestures?
  • repeat or re-phrase words?
  • explain new ideas using a limited vocabulary?
  • help your child when they don’t have access to lip patterns, for example, during tannoys, cartoons, or when people turn away?

Top

My child signs. Can I claim?

Yes. The information you give must include:

  • what help your child needs in order to communicate with people who do not sign
  • what has to happen before and during your conversation
  • how often your child needs help with communicating and for how long
  • any help your child needs with understanding new words and ideas
  • examples of when your child cannot take part in conversations.

    DLA 2

Top

What other information should I include with my claim?

Include any extra help your child needs as a result of their deafness. This may be:

  • help waking up
  • keeping hearing aids in good working order
  • looking after any other equipment your child has
  • watching over them to make sure they are safe from hazards.

It may be worth keeping a diary of your child’s needs over several days. It is good if you can compare your child to a hearing child of the same age.

Top

Can I claim for my child at residential school?

Yes. When your child goes into a residential school they can keep the DLA care component for the first 28 days they are there. They will then lose the care component for any complete days spent in a residential school after the first 28 days. Two or more periods in a residential school will be added together towards the 28 days if 28 days or less separates them.

The mobility component continues to be paid.

For example: Child starts school in September, comes home every Friday night and goes back to school on Sunday morning. Check the table to see how this would affect your child's entitlement to the care component.

Week 1 4 days school - 3 days home
Full care component
 Week 2
 4 days school - 3 days home
 Full care component
 Week 3
 4 days school - 3 days home
 Full care component
 Week 4
 4 days school - 3 days home
 Full care component
 Week 5
 4 days school - 3 days home
 Full care component
 Week 6
 Half term - 7 days home
 Full care component
 Week 7
 4 days school - 3 days home
 Full care component
 Week 8  4 days school - 3 days home
 Full care component
 Week 9
 4 days school - 3 days home
 Three sevenths of care component paid
 Week 10
 4 days school - 3 days home
 Three sevenths of care component paid

 An uninterrupted period of 28 days at home will start this process again.

Top

More information

Visit our webpage on Making a Disability Living Allowance Claim for more information on the claim process and how to complain about delays or poor decisions. 

Top