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Change of circumstances while you’re getting DLA

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

You need to tell the Disability and Carers Service 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 Disability and Carers Service if:

  • your child’s condition gets better or worse
  • the level of help and care they need changes
  • they go into a care home or residential care

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

Disability and Carers Service
Telephone: 0300 123 3356
Textphone: 028 9031 1092
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (closed bank holidays)

There are lots of 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 Disability and Carers Service anyway. Not telling them could mean you’re missing out on extra money, or being paid money you’ll have to pay back.

If you report a change in cicumstances the Disability and Carers Service can look at your whole award and they can put it down as well as up.  If you want more information, contact your local Citizens Advice

If your child lives in a care home or school

It’s important to keep Disability and Carers Service 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 6 months) or they’re living in a private home arranged by a local Health and Social Care Trust. There are special rules for children who are being looked after by the local Health and Social Care Trust, you should call Disability and Carers Service in this case.

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