DLA and AA
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) are state benefits that help with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability, which can be either physical and/or mental.
Please note: From April 2013 there is a new benefit called the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). PIP is a new benefit for working age adults with disabilities who need help with daily living activities and/or with getting around. It is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Find out more here or download the factsheet at the bottom of this page.
For DLA you must make a claim before your 65th birthday. If you are aged 65 or over you should claim AA instead. However if you are paid DLA before you reach 65, it will continue after your 65th birthday for as long as you satisfy the rules for the benefit.
Claiming these benefits can help you or the person you care for qualify for other benefits and/or tax credits.
- If a person gets DLA or AA then the person caring for them may be able to claim Carer's Allowance
- Getting DLA or AA may help get a Council Tax discount (Rate Rebate in Northern Ireland)
- Getting DLA might give you access to the Motability scheme or Blue Badge parking scheme
DLA and AA are more flexible than most benefits. For example:
- DLA and AA are not means tested. They can be paid regardless of your income, savings or National Insurance contribution record.
- Both benefits are tax free.
- You can get DLA or AA even if you are working or studying.
- There are no restrictions on how you can spend your DLA and AA money.
- Carers who are disabled or ill can also claim AA or DLA in their own right, even if they already get, or qualify for, Carer’s Allowance.
The application process can be long and complicated. Many carers help the person they are looking after to complete the claim form or complete it on their behalf. The more you know about these benefits the more likely it is that the person you are looking after will be able to make a successful claim.