Disability living allowance
Disability living allowance is a form of state benefit available to anyone under the age of 65 and resident in the UK, with care or mobility requirements due to a physical or mental disability. The disability living allowance is not a means tested benefit, meaning that it is available to anyone regardless of personal wealth.
The disability living allowance is divided up into two ‘components’, a care component and a mobility component. The two components have different rates that afford the claimant different amounts of money depending on their needs.
The different components
The care component has three rates depending on the severity of the restriction on your ability to care for yourself. At the lowest rate the individual must require another person to help perform bodily functions such as washing, dressing, eating or using the toilet for a portion of the day, or be over the age of 16 and unable to prepare a meal. At the highest end the individual must require attention or supervision during the day and at night.
The mobility component has two rates. The lower rate is available if you cannot travel on an unfamiliar route without supervision. The higher rate is available if you are unable to walk or if you receive the highest care rate available.
Claiming disability living allowance
To claim disability living allowance you must make an application to the Disability and Carers’ Service at Department for Work and Pensions. Any award of disability living allowance can be backdated to the date of claim. It takes approximately eight weeks to deal with your claim.
If your claim is rejected you have the right to ask for an explanation of the decision, a review of the decision, a written statement of reasons to allow you to consult your solicitor for legal advice, and the right to formally appeal the decision if you believe it is wrong. There are time limits on appeals so you must consult your solicitor early to avoid missing the deadline for making an appeal.
The disability living allowance is due to be phased out from 8th April 2013 to be replaced over the following few years by the Personal Independence Payment, a similar, non-means tested benefit available to those whose mobility or daily living requirements are compromised by ill health or disability.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on the disability living allowance, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.