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How do I claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?

Photo: Information and tips on making a DLA claim

How to start your claim

Follow these steps to start your Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claim for your deaf child:

  • Go to where you can download an application form, or contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to ask for a form to be sent to you in the post (contact details are on the webpage). If you download the application form your claim will be backdated to when the DWP receives the completed form.
  • If you ask for an application form over the phone it will be date stamped and your claim will be backdated to that date if you return your form by the deadline (make sure the DWP gives you the exact date to return it by).

DLA decision

Once you have filled in the form you will need to return it to the DWP. They will then follow the steps below:

  • When the DWP receives your application they’ll decide if they need to get more information.
  • Once the DWP has all the information they need, a decision will be made about your claim and you’ll be sent a decision letter in the post. It should take no more than a few weeks (most claims are decided within 11 weeks) from when you return your form for the decision to be made.
  • If it’s been more than 11 weeks since you applied you could contact the DWP to chase up your claim. If you are not happy with the reason given for the delay, or it's causing you problems, then you could complain.   

Tips for claiming DLA

Here are some additional tips for claiming DLA for your deaf child and filling in the form.

  • Compare your child’s care and supervision needs to those of another child of the same age who isn’t deaf. You need to show that your child’s needs are greater than theirs.
  • Make sure you explain all the help and supervision your child needs on a daily basis. Never assume a DWP decision maker will ‘fill in the gaps’. You need to explain everything fully for each section even if it feels like you’re repeating yourself.
  • Remember that decision makers aren’t experts on deafness. For example, you should explain things like concentration fatigue, or that hearing technology doesn’t mean your child can hear ‘normally’. 
  • Don’t just say what help your child needs – explain why they need this help and what would happen if they didn’t get it.
  • Only give information for the questions that are relevant to your child but repeat relevant information wherever it applies, even though this feels very repetitive.
  • If a question asks for how long or how often help is needed you should give a specific amount of time (it’s fine if this is a range, e.g. 5–10 minutes).
  • Give details of when equipment such as hearing aids isn’t useful, e.g. where there’s a lot of background noise, or when they can’t be worn due to damage or an ear infection or when the child could put the hearing aid in their mouth (for example, in the car).
  • Send in supporting evidence.
  • Keep a copy of the form and any supporting evidence you send.
  • If returning the form in the post, take it to the post office and get proof of postage.

Step-by-step guides

Check out our step-by-step guides to filling in the form to claim DLA for a deaf child: