Change of circumstances while you’re getting DLA

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

You need to tell the DWP as soon as possible if your child’s condition changes - this can affect how much Disability Living Allowance (DLA) you get.

You should tell the DWP if:

  • your child’s condition gets better or worse

  • the level of help and care they need changes

  • they stop living with you - for example, if they go into a care home or live with relatives

  • your child permanently moves to Scotland

Your child's DLA will not usually be affected if they have to go to hospital.

There are many changes that can affect DLA and these are just some examples.

If you’re not sure if a change affects your DLA, it’s best to tell the DWP anyway.

Telling the DWP about a change

Tell the DWP by calling the DLA helpline.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Helpline

Telephone: 0800 121 4600 

Textphone: 0800 121 4523 

Relay UK - if you can't hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0800 121 4600

You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone. There’s no extra charge to use it. Find out how to use Relay UK on the Relay UK website.

Video relay - if you use British Sign Language (BSL).  

You can find out how to use video relay on YouTube.

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm 

Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

Reporting changes on time

Once you know about a change that might affect the amount of DLA you get, tell the DWP as soon as you can.

The change might increase your payment and you might miss out on extra money if you tell the DWP late.

You should still tell the DWP if you think a change might reduce your DLA - you won't save money by reporting it later. If you tell the DWP late you could get paid too much and have to pay your benefits back to the DWP. This is called an overpayment - check how the DWP deals with overpayments.

If your child stops living with you

You might stop getting DLA if your child is either:

  • being looked after by the local authority and you’re not responsible for them

  • living with another adult who can get the DLA instead - for example, if they’re living with relatives

If your child lives in a care home or school

It’s important to keep the DWP informed of any dates when your child goes in and out of ‘residential care’ (for example a care home or boarding school). That way you’ll always get the right amount of DLA and won’t get any overpayments. 

The rules can be complicated so you might want to contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help.

You’ll keep getting the mobility component (if you were awarded it) if your child goes into a care home, but the care component might go down. 

You’ll be able to get the care component for any days that your child stays with you, even if part of the day is spent away from home. For example if they come home from the care home on a Friday and go back on the following Monday, you’ll get the care component for all 4 days.

You can only get the care component while your child is in residential care if they’re terminally ill (not expected to live more than 12 months) or they’re living in a private home arranged by a local council. There are special rules for children who are being looked after by the local council, you should call DWP in this case.

If your child moves to Scotland permanently

You must tell the DWP if your child moves to Scotland. 

You’ll continue to get DLA for your child for the first 13 weeks after they move to Scotland. After that, you’ll get a Scottish benefit for your child called Child Disability Payment. 

Find out more about Child Disability Payment on

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