Disability Living Allowance
What you need to know about DLA
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a non means-tested tax-free benefit payable to disabled people under the age of 65 years. It is applicable whether you are in or out of work and has two parts:
- A care component to provide help with personal care needs. This is paid at three different levels: lowest, middle and highest.
- A mobility component to assist people who have difficulties getting out and about independently. This is paid at two different levels: lower and higher.
What are blind and partially sighted people entitled to under DLA?
Until recently, most blind and partially sighted people received the lower rate of both the care and mobility components.
Thankfully the rules have changed. Amendments to DLA higher rate mobility component mean that some blind people will be entitled to an extra £30 per week from 11 April 2011.
- If you already receive the lower rate mobility component of DLA, the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service (PDCS) should have called by the end of April 2011 you to find out if you are entitled to an increase. If the PDCS did not manage to contact you be phone, you will be sent a form to complete.
- To be considered for the higher rate, you must be under 65 and registered or certified as severely sight impaired (blind), although your will depend on your visual acuity and visual field.
- It will help speed up your claim if you have your certificate of visual impairment (a CVI or BD8, or BP1 in Scotland), or a consultant's report noting your visual acuity and visual field. Ask your hospital ophthalmologist for a copy if you do not have one, or call us for advice.
There has been speculation that guide dog owners will become less eligible for the new benefit because they use a guide dog as an aid to mobility. Although disabilities minister Maria Miller has publicly promised that this won't happen, we will keep lobbying her office to ensure she stands by that promise and we will carry on fighting hard to ensure that blind and partially-sighted people are not punished financially if they use a guide dog.
Find out if you are entitled to receive DLA or any other benefits by calling our Helpline on 0303 123 9999.
Fight the £1 Billion threat to Disability Living Allowance
The Government is proposing to replace Disability Living Allowance from 2013 with a new benefit called Personal Independent Payment (PIP). The underlying aim is to save £1billion by making cuts to benefits.
We believe this proposal could have a severe impact on some of the most vulnerable people in society. If you receive DLA, help us to protect your rights and email your MP today. Even if you don't receive DLA but feel passionate about unfair spending cuts, we call on you to join our campaign.
Together, we can make the Government rethink its plans on the future of Disability Living Allowance.