Parents of children with diabetes who are under the age of 16 may be entitled to a tax-free social security benefit called Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

DLA may be available if your child needs more care and assistance than other children their age.

Is DLA means tested?

DLA is not means tested, which means that it makes no difference how much money you or your child or your family get in income or from savings.

How much benefit can I receive?

Disability Living Allowance is available over 3 care rates and 2 mobility rates. If your child has care and mobility needs, he or she may qualify to receive benefits from both the care and mobility components.

Fig 1: How much benefit can I receive?
Care Component Mobility Component
Lower £21 £21
Middle £53
High £79.15 £55.25

The rate is how much will be paid per week. You can usually expect to receive the payments once every 4 weeks and the money received will be tax free.

Note: Figures may have changed at time of reading.

Is my child eligible for DLA?

The Department of Work and Pensions updated their DLA guidelines for children with type 1 diabetes, stating that children up to the age of 16 will need help from parents and carers during the day. The new guidelines are designed to make it easier for parents claiming for children aged 12 years or older who require day-to-day assistance managing their diabetes.

Children with diabetes are more likely to be eligible for the care component unless they have an additional health difficulty that affects their mobility.

Your child may be eligible for the lower rate of DLA if they require some care and supervision, beyond that of other children their age, through some of the day or night.

The middle care rate is available if your child requires frequent help or constant supervision through the day or night.

The highest rate is if care or supervision is required through both the day and night.

Typical care needs for children with diabetes include:

  • Increased help from ana dult for taking insulin or blood tests
  • Increased supervision as a result of problems with hypoglycemia

Will I still receive DLA when my child turns 16?

When your child turns 16, they will need to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to continue receiving a benefit for daily care or mobility needs.

My child is recently diagnosed with diabetes; can I get the Disability Living Allowance?

The DLA is usually available within 3 months of diagnosis

However, applying before this time allows the relevant authority to provide the DLA from the very first day your entitlement starts.

Before you apply

Take some time to consider how your child’s diabetes, and other conditions they have, affects your day-to-day life. Consider the care your child needs during school term time as well as during holiday periods.

Note down when your child requires help from an adult as well as any instances whereby your child cannot take part in an activity or is disadvantaged as a result of not having help available.

How can I apply for DLA?

You can apply online or download a DLA claim pack from the government website

You can also get a claim pack by calling the benefit helpline on 0845 712 3456 (or textphone on 0845 722 4433) between Monday and Friday, 8am to 6pm.

Is an assessment involved?

A face-to-face assessment may be required, in which case a letter will be sent to you detailing where and when to go.

You will need to bring ID with you which will either comprise a passport or any 3 of the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Full driving licence
  • Life assurance policy
  • Bank statements

If you have questions about the assessment, call the benefit helpline on the number provided above.

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