Disability Benefits

Disability Living Allowance

The Disability Living Allowance Doesn't Require You To Be Unable To Work

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a government benefit available to residents of Great Britian. However, unlike disability benefits available in the United States and Canada, DLA does not require recipients to be unable to work. It also is not dependent upon the applicant's savings or income from other sources, and benefits are not taxable. Occasionally proof of medical examination is necessary, but normally that is not the case. DLA is available to people who have either personal care or mobility needs. You can't receive benefits until you have needed help for three months, and the condition must be reasonably expected to last for at least six more months. However, there are special allowances for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal condition to make sure that their benefits begin in a timely manner.

Personal care needs include needing assistance with tasks such as washing oneself, going to the bathroom, dressing, cooking meals, getting medical care, getting into or out of or staying in bed, getting into a comfortable position for sleep, or just needing someone around if you have dizzy spells or blackouts. It also covers certain assistance that might be needed by persons who have mental health issues, and is available if the applicant has a child under the age of sixteen who has needs that markedly exceed those of a typical child of the same age.

Mobility refers to having trouble getting around, such as physical problems such as being short of breath, experiencing pain, or losing balance when walking. It also is payable to individuals who have panic attacks when in public or who may need assistance finding their way around.

You must be under the age of 65 to apply for the Disability Living Allowance. People 65 or older can apply for what's called Attendance Allowance. If you are approved to receive DLA, you are not required to spend the money on personal care - you can spend the benefits on whatever you want, or not spend the money at all. Also, if you have a relative who provides care for you at no cost, this would not preclude you from obtaining benefits.

When you apply for Disability Living Allowance, as with Social Security disability in the US and Canada Pension Plan disability, be sure to be accurate and as complete as possible. Don't assume that the reviewer (called the Decision Maker) understands what the symptoms of your particular condition are; be sure to explain all the problems that cause you to require personal care or mobility assistance. Explain in detail how the symptoms affect you and the type of care that would help you. List any medications you are taking. Just give as much detail as you can.