• Our mission is to make families with disabled children feel valued and experience the best quality of life possible
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Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance

What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is the main benefit for disabled children and is there to help meet any extra costs of being disabled. It is not means tested so your financial situation will not be taken into account. DLA is also not taxable or treated as income for other benefits.

Any ill or disabled child may be able to qualify, even those who don’t have a diagnosis.

You have to show that your child needs substantially more care, attention or supervision than other children of the same age who don’t have a disability or health condition.

Your child will also need to have had the extra care or mobility needs for at least three months and be expected to have them for at least six months more. This means the earliest DLA can be paid from is three months of age.

The DLA claim is made up of two ‘components’ – Care and Mobility

You can claim the care component if your child needs help with ‘personal care’, that is, looking after themselves and this includes things like keeping safe and communication. You can claim this part of the benefit at any time, as long as your child has needed the extra help for at least three months and will continue to need that help for at least another six months. There are three rates at which it can be paid:

The lower rate: if your child needs some help during the day. This is currently £21.55 per week.

The middle rate: if your child needs more help during the day or at night. This is currently £54.45 per week.

The high rate: if your child needs help day and night. This is currently £81.30 per week.

The higher rate: if your child’s ability to get around is severely restricted by their disability. It is payable to children from the age of three who are unable to walk independently. Children meeting this rule are likely to have a severe physical or sensory impairment, a life threatening neurological, cardiac or respiratory disorder, or the most severe autism and learning disability. If your child is coming up to three years old and already receives the care component of DLA at the higher rate, you should be contacted and asked if you wish to make a claim for the mobility component. This is currently £56.75 per week.

The lower rate: if your child needs someone around to keep them safe or someone to help them find their way around. It is payable to children from the age of five. Many primary age children are still learning how to get about and stay safe on streets and in parks near their homes. So, to get this you will need to show how much more help your child needs than others of the same age. Most children meeting the criteria for the lower rate mobility component are likely to have a significant learning or co-ordination difficulty, a communication disorder or some sensory impairment. This is currently £21.55 per week.

You can download the form from the website or you can call 0800 121 4600 to request a form. It’s best to get the forms from the Disability and Carers Service as the Department for Work and Pensions will then stamp the form with the date you phoned to ask for it. As long as you send it back within six weeks and it’s successful, the claim can start from that date, meaning a back payment for you.

What our friends and families say...

Thankyou family and friends for being there for me it’s been unbelievable, but you guys are always there for a chat or advice xx 


Thank you, as always, for a fantastic event. Daisy had a great time x

Andy Smith”


Morgan had a fantastic time this is her 2nd time of joining fun and freedom activities and is enjoying it very much and looks forward to the next so thank you 

Charlie Harris”


These guys are absolutely amazing! If you are a family with a SEN child this charity is great to connect with. There is activities provided for different groups; children with additional needs, children with severe additional needs, siblings of Sen children and family activities. Plus they are an important hub of any information you may need. Oscar is part of their ‘adventure club’ and this gives him bags of opportunities to access so many different things – pizza making at Prezzo, archery, day trips out, access to a hydro pool. Just to name a very small amount. No judging, full support and a chance to connect to other families just like ours 

Jolene Cumes”


Lovely activities for both the children with send and the rest of the families. The workers really understand the situation and are very supportive. We have used the lending library and family support services. Thank you for allowing my youngest to have a break from being a carer 

Chloe Botterill”


Attended a session about sensory processing, was very well presented. Loved the idea of practical experiments putting yourself into a child with processing disorders shoes to see the world from their point of view. Really helpful information.

Donna Potter (parent) Jan 2020

I would highly recommend friends and family of special children. I think all the staff are fantastic, very friendly, helpful and do an amazing job. as a family with 3 sen children you guys are a god send with the activities and workshops you put on for families and the children. We really love the lending library and wish we had found you guys years ago. It would have saved us loads money lol. Thank you and keep up all the good hard work. You help us so much as a family 😍 x

Helen Blaco October 2019

“The emotional support I received from my befriender was fantastic and the opportunity to off load and reveal my concerns and fears was like having a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”

Gareth Allen (parent)

Absolutely amazing charity that offer amazing support to the whole family and lovely breaks for the siblings. My daughter has benefited from days out with the fun and freedom club and adores Brett as he always makes her smile and feel comfortable. My son has autism and ADHD so sometimes life can be a little stressful for her so a days break away to enjoy herself with other children who experience similar things is amazing. It gives her a chance to play and be herself. The family events are always so fantastic as well and so are the events for the disabled child. Friends and family really are such an amazing charity that really cares. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication.

Jodie Jones (parent) June 2018

“Not only does the charity provide exciting experiences for the children but can also help with much needed support for the parents.  Being a parent of a disabled child can at times be very lonely and isolating.  To meet with other parents on these activity days is a breath of fresh air and helps you to realise that there are many other people like you facing the similar day to day challenges of having a disabled child.  From our personal experiences we can share stories, offer help and advice and even make new friends.”

January 2018

“Thank you to all staff for looking after our kids at Magdalen Farm. Oliver has really enjoyed himself and can’t wait till the next time.”

August 2017

“What a fantastic friendly welcoming place. We visited for the first time this morning for help to fill in a DLA form for our eldest daughter. We were given great help and advice with something we found very overwhelming and difficult.”

February 2017

“It was the best day ever being able to go swimming as a family with her little sister who can only use a hydrotherapy pool. We’re so grateful we can have unforgettable days out thanks to the events you put on. We can thank you enough.”

May 2016

“Thank you, yet again, to Friends & Families of Special Children for providing opportunities for my son that I never thought he would be able to do.  During the summer he was able to have surfing lessons and enjoy other water sport activities organised by the charity.   When we arrive at the sessions they are always very well planned and as parents we have no explaining to do and even better no apologising for our child’s behaviour!  The staff have an amazing understanding and empathy on the needs of various disabilities of the children and this helps to keep everyone relaxed and happy including the parents/carers!”

October 2015

Activity Calendar

All face-to-face events have been postponed at this time. We are however running Zoom sessions on an individual and group basis. Sessions are available for the whole family. If you're looking for advice, support, or a general get together, please get in touch to schedule info@friendsandfamilies.org.uk | 01752 204369.

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