What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a disability benefit for children under 16 who are deaf or disabled.
DLA helps towards some of the extra costs of raising a child who needs more looking after than another child of the same age without disabilities.
There are two parts to DLA – the care component and the mobility (getting around) component. It’s possible for deaf children to claim both parts even if they don’t have any physical difficulties walking.
You can claim DLA for your deaf child no matter how much you earn, or the level of savings you have. It’s not taxed, or counted as income when other benefits are worked out. There aren’t any rules or restrictions on what you can spend the DLA payments on.
You can claim the care component if your child needs more help with personal care than a child of the same age without disabilities. Personal care includes hearing, speech communication, emotional reassurance and supervision to avoid danger.
On the claim form you should include details of the help your child needs with:
- making themselves understood
- understanding what’s being said
- education and learning
- fitting and removing hearing aids or cochlear implant processors (hearing technology)
- cleaning and maintaining hearing technology.
If your child is very young you could also include other things you do for your child such as:
- supervision to stop them putting their hearing technology in their mouth
- having to stay in the same room as them as they become upset if they can’t see or hear you.
There are three weekly rates for the care component:
- £22.65 – the lowest rate if your child needs help for part of the day
- £57.30 – the middle rate if your child needs help throughout the day or more than once or for a prolonged period at night
- £85.60 – the highest rate if your child needs help throughout the day and more than once or for a prolonged period at night.
You can claim the lower rate of the mobility component (£22.65 a week) if your child is at least five years old 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 couldn’t hear a warning shout
- may bump into or trip over other people/objects when walking along if focusing on lip-reading or signing
- couldn’t communicate with strangers if lost
- couldn’t cope in an emergency.
You can claim the higher rate of the mobility component (£59.75 a week) if your child is at least three years old and:
- has a disability that means they can’t walk or can hardly walk, or
- as 100% vision loss and 80% hearing loss, or
- is blind or severely visually impaired, or
- gets the highest rate care component and has severe learning difficulties or severe behavioural problems.