Disability Living Allowance: What Illnesses Qualify for UK DLA (Child & Adults)?

Disability Living Allowance UK DLA

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a financial aid provided by the UK government to children and adults who need extra care or mobility support due to a physical or mental disability. Understanding which illnesses qualify for DLA can help applicants determine their eligibility and access necessary support.

Eligibility Criteria

DLA is divided into two components: the care component and the mobility component. Eligibility for each depends on the severity of the disability and the level of care or mobility support needed.

Qualifying Illnesses and Conditions

DLA covers a broad range of disabilities and health conditions, including both physical and mental impairments. Here are examples of illnesses and conditions that might qualify a person for DLA:

For Children and Adults:

  • Severe physical disabilities: Conditions that affect mobility, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.
  • Sensory disabilities: This includes severe visual impairments or profound hearing loss.
  • Chronic health conditions: Such as epilepsy, where frequent and severe seizures significantly impact daily life.
  • Serious mental health disorders: Conditions like severe autism, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder that require additional care.
  • Learning disabilities: Profound developmental disorders that severely impact independent functioning.
  • Progressive diseases: Conditions like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease that lead to increasing levels of disability.

Application and Assessment Process

  • Application: Applications for DLA can be made using the form available from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). For children under 16, parents or guardians need to apply on their behalf.
  • Assessment: The assessment involves reviewing medical documentation provided by your healthcare provider and may include an assessment from a health professional to determine the level of assistance required.

Care Component Levels

The care component is awarded based on the level of personal care needed:

  • Low rate: For those who need some help during the day or night.
  • Middle rate: For those who require more frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night, or someone to help while on dialysis.
  • High rate: For those who need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or those who are terminally ill.

Mobility Component Levels

The mobility component is provided based on mobility needs:

  • Low rate: For those who can walk but need guidance or supervision outdoors.
  • High rate: For those who cannot walk, can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, could become very ill if they try to walk, or are blind and deaf.

FAQs About DLA

Q: How long does the DLA claim process take?

A: The process can take several weeks, depending on the complexity of the case and the thoroughness of the application.

Q: Can adults apply for DLA?

A: Adults who have needed help from before the age of 65 can continue to receive DLA; new adult claims are directed to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

Q: Does the type of illness impact the amount of DLA received?

A: The amount of DLA received is not based on the type of illness but on the level of care and mobility support the individual requires.


Disability Living Allowance provides vital financial support to individuals with disabilities in the UK. Understanding the qualifying conditions, how to apply, and the benefits available can help ensure that those who need support can access it effectively. Always consult with healthcare providers and DLA advisors to ensure accurate and comprehensive application submissions.

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