Run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit aimed at providing financial assistance for UK residents who have care or mobility needs.
It remains one of the few benefits that is not means-tested – and thus, can be claimed by anyone who fits the criteria, regardless of income or financial circumstance.
DLA claims are split into two sections, each with different rates of payment depending on the severity of the claimant’s disability. DLA Care is the most common, and pays between £21 and £79.15 per week for those who require some form of care due to their illness. Those who have trouble walking are entitled to claim DLA Mobility to aid with travel costs, with claims ranging from £21 to £55.35 per week.
Many people are entitled to claim both DLA Care and DLA Mobility – however, recent tightening of the benefits system has seen many people lose either one or both of their payments.
Introduced in 1992, the government recently announced that DLA will be phased out over the coming years – and will be replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This restructure is part of plans to streamline the benefits system and reduce the burden on the taxpayer, although opponents of the changes contest that these changes are hitting the most vulnerable members of society at a time when they need help most.