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Applying for DLA

You can only apply for DLA if you are claiming DLA for a child under 16 with a disability. DLA helps cover the extra costs that result from MS symptoms, in particular the costs of care and getting around.

DLA comes in two parts: the mobility component and the care component. The claim form for DLA covers both of them. A child can be awarded either, or both, of these components.

Throughout the UK you can no longer make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you are aged 16 to 64. You must claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

DLA flowchart

Find out more about applying for DLA

Claiming DLA

If you're in England, Scotland or Wales phone the DLA helpline on 0800 121 4600 and ask for a claim form for your child. Or download it from Gov.uk.

In Northern Ireland phone the Disability and Carer's Service on 0800 587 0912 and ask to be sent a form. Or download it from NI Direct.

Phoning is better as the claim will be paid from the date you first ring them. If you just download the form and send it to them, you'll only be paid from when they get your form.

Questionnaire or medical examination

Once they have your form, they may phone you to discuss anything you've written in the form. They may also contact you to arrange a medical examination if they need more information. You should get a decision about the claim within three months.

Your child is not awarded DLA

If your child's claim is turned down, you'll usually get a phone call to discuss this. But you can call the number on the letter if you’d like to talk about the decision before they do.

Ask for a reconsideration

If you're not happy with the outcome, you have one month from the date of the decision to ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to ask them to look at it again. This is known as a mandatory reconsideration. Call the number on your decision letter to get this started.

Appeal

If your child's claim is still turned down, you can appeal to an independent tribunal. Find more details on the Citizen's Advice website.

You should state clearly why you disagree with the decision that your child can't get DLA - or can only get it at a rate of DLA you feel is too low.

You can contact a local advice centre, such as Citizens Advice to see if they can give you any support with an appeal.

You'll be offered a 'paper hearing' - you don't need to be at this kind - or an 'oral hearing'. At an oral hearing you can talk about your child's claim. You have more chance of winning your appeal if you choose an oral hearing.

The two parts of DLA

DLA comes in two parts, the mobility component and the care component.

The mobility component is paid to help cover the extra costs your child may have in getting around. It comes with two different rates: the higher and the lower rate. If your child has substantial difficulties in walking, the higher rate may apply to them. If they can walk reasonably well, but need supervision or guidance to do so, the lower rate may apply.

The care component is paid because the symptoms of your child's MS are such that they need either care or supervision from another person. The care they need must relate to some bodily function - typical examples are dressing, bathing, getting to the toilet and moving around safely.

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