DLA is now only available for children under the age of 16, or for people who were aged over 65 in April 2013 who were already receiving it. For everybody else, DLA has already stopped or will do so within the next two years, and they will be invited to apply for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
However, PIP is not the same as DLA, as it is concerned with how the condition affects the claimant; rather than the condition itself. The Government claims that DLA is “outdated” and that PIP is more objective and hence fairer. The total cost of all PIP benefits is also expected to be 20% less than projected expenditure on benefits under DLA had it continued.
Children receiving DLA, will be “invited” to apply for PIP as they approach their 16th birthday. It is important to remember that they will not automatically transfer to PIP, but must apply and be assessed for PIP in the same way as any new claimant. As long as they apply for PIP, their DLA will continue to be paid until a decision is made on the PIP application. If an application for PIP is not made, then DLA will end at the age of 16.
DLA is intended to cover some of the extra costs of looking after a child who has difficulty walking or who needs more looking after than a child of same age who doesn’t have that impairment.
It is divided into two parts
• Care component – for children needing substantial extra personal care, supervision or watching over (compared with other children of the same age) because of a disability. This is payable at three different rates (lower, middle and higher) depending on their needs.
• Mobility component – for help with walking difficulties, because of a physical or mental disabilitypaid at two different rates (lower and higher)
Either component can be paid on its own, or at the same time as the other.