Changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Benefit change graphic 

You should also see the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) information on the gov.uk website.


What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults to help with the extra costs you may have because you're disabled. It is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

What’s the change to DLA?

From April 2013, Personal Independence Payments (PIP) began to replace Disability Living Allowance for disabled people aged 16 to 64. If you were 65 years or older on 8 April 2013, you will be able to continue claiming DLA and will not be affected by this change.

Since 10 June 2013, all new applicants aged 16-64 years apply for PIP instead of DLA.

Most people who were claiming DLA before June 2013 will not be affected by the change to PIP until 2015, but there are exceptions. People from the groups listed below will be invited to apply for PIP sooner. Although we believed this would start affecting people in Brighton & Hove from October 2013, the DWP have now told it will be later - we will update this information as soon as we have more details

  • Recipients of DLA who turn 16
  • Recipients of DLA who are coming to the end of a fixed-term award
  • Recipients of DLA who have a change in their condition (this does not include a change in circumstances, ie address, etc)

When the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to invite you to make an application to PIP, it is very important that you call the number on the letter to confirm you have received it as this will start the application process. You will have four weeks to make this initial contact with the DWP from the date of the letter. If the DWP do not hear from you, they may stop paying your DLA.

Although the telephone number will not be a freephone number, you can ask the DWP to call you back.

For more information:

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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - an introduction to the new benefit from gov.uk*

  • Personal Independence Payment will be for disabled people aged 16 to 64 when they first claim.
  • Your entitlement to Personal Independence Payment will not be based on your disability, but on the help you may need because of your condition or disability. Your personal circumstances will be taken into account and the impact that your condition or disability has on your ability to live independently.
  • The payment isn't means-tested, so your income and savings won't affect your entitlement to Personal Independence Payment. You’ll be able to claim it whether you're in or out of work.
  • The payment will be tax-free and you’ll be able to spend the money as you choose.

Customers can access www.gov.uk/pip for the latest information or use the online checker at www.gov.uk/pip-checker.

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What happens if you're currently getting Disability Living Allowance?*

Aged under 16

  • There's no change for Disability Living Allowance for children up to 16 years of age - this will continue until the child turns 16, when they will be invited to apply for PIP

Aged 16 to 64

  • From 2013 to 2018, Personal Independence Payment will replace Disability Living Allowance for everyone of working age, even if you've an indefinite or lifetime award. Working age means anyone aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013, when PIP was introduced.
  • You'll need to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment instead. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to you sometime between now and 2018 to let you know when you can claim Personal Independence Payment.
  • You don't need to do anything now, DWP will contact you to let you know when your Disability Living Allowance will stop. They will tell you when and how you should make a claim for Personal Independence Payment.
  • There's no automatic entitlement to Personal Independence Payment. Entitlement is based on your personal circumstances and the impact that your condition or disability has on your ability to live independently. Entitlement will not depend on what health condition or disability you have. The only exception is for people who are terminally ill and who are not expected to live for more than six months.

 Aged 65 or over

  • If you were aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013, you'll continue to get Disability Living Allowance as long as you continue to meet the entitlement conditions, and will not need to claim Personal Independence Payment.

*gov.uk Crown copyright.

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What’s the timescale for the changeover from DLA to PIP?

The new benefit is being introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in stages, beginning from April 2013, with pilot phases for new claimants in North West and North East England. From June 2013, all new claimants will go directly on to PIP.

The phasing out of existing DLA claims and their replacement by Personal Independence Payment will also be carried out in stages. The DWP estimates that by 2018 the transition to PIP will have been completed for everyone who is currently receiving DLA.

Customers can access www.gov.uk/pip for the latest information or use the online checker at www.gov.uk/pip-checker.

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What to do when your time comes to transfer from DLA to PIP

You’ll need to make your PIP claim when you are advised to do so by the DWP, as transfer from DLA to PIP will not be automatic when your DLA ends. When you receive a letter from the DWP it will ask you to call a number. It is very important that you make this phone call within four weeks of the date on the letter. This phone call will confirm that you have received the letter and start the application process. If the DWP do not hear from you, they may stop payment of your DLA. Although the telephone number will not be a freephone number, you can ask the DWP to call you back. As part of the claim process for PIP, most people will have to attend an assessment with a healthcare professional.

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Will the amount of PIP you're awarded be similar to the amount of DLA you're getting now?

PIP has different entitlement criteria to those for DLA. Entitlement will depend more on your circumstances and the impact of your health condition or disability on your day-to-day life, than on the nature of your disability.

When your claim for PIP is assessed, the amount you are awarded may be more or less than the amount of Disability Living Allowance you received before. It is also possible that you will not qualify for any Personal Independence Payment.

Those who will not get Personal Independence Payment are most likely to be people with conditions that have a low impact on their day-to-day lives and who have a high level of participation in society without needing expensive aids and appliances or a lot of help from others.

If you are assessed as not entitled to Personal Independence Payment, or choose not to claim it, you will not be able to retain your DLA as an alternative.

Brighton & Hove City Council’s Welfare Rights Team produce benefit factsheets, including guidance on Personal Independence Payments (PIP). The factsheet also covers how to appeal if you are assessed as not entitled to PIP and you disagree with the decision.

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Changes to your DLA/PIP and Housing & Council Tax Reduction

The increase or decrease to your income when your Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payment changes may affect your entitlement to other benefits.

If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you should report any changes in your DLA/PIP to the council, as changes to your income can affect the amount of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you are entitled to. By not reporting changes in your income, you may be missing out on benefit that is due to you, or we may be paying you more benefit than you are entitled to.

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Finding out more and seeking advice