Archive Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Archive brought to you by Cross Stitch UK

Main menu

Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Disability Living Allowance - your circumstances

Your entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the amount is based on the information you told the Disability and Carers Service. If there are any changes to the information it is your responsibility to tell them. They can check your entitlement to DLA and how much you should get.

What to do if your circumstances change

Report a change of circumstances

It's your responsibility to tell the Disability and Carers Service (DCS) about any changes. Your benefit may continue at the same rate, increase, decrease or stop depending on the change.

If you are claiming Disability Living Allowance on behalf of someone else, it is your responsibility to tell the DCS about any changes.

If the Disability and Carers Service overpay you, you will normally have to repay the money. You may be prosecuted if you fail to tell them about a change.

To report a change of circumstances contact the Disability Benefits Helpline.

Changes you need to tell Disability and Carers Service about

Your disability or medical condition

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is not based on your disability but the needs arising from it. So even if your disability doesn’t change, your needs and ability to cope may change. You might:

  • have changed your medication
  • need more or less help carrying out daily tasks
  • find it more difficult to walk or it takes you more time to walk the same distance

Examples of changes include a change in:

  • care arrangements - you or someone you claim for goes into hospital or a care home
  • your condition - surgery, such as a hip replacement, could relieve your walking difficulty
  • medication - more effective medication could enable you to go out without supervision
  • mobility aids - with the fitting of a false leg, you might now be able to walk without severe discomfort
  • personal care needs - you may now need help several times in the night to get out of bed and get to the toilet

The changes may be gradual, so it may be difficult to pinpoint the date they started. If you are unsure if the change affects your benefit, it's your responsibility to contact the Disability and Carers Service to find out.

National Health Service (NHS) hospital

You need to tell the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service if you go into or leave an NHS hospital.

Care homes

You need to tell the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service if you go into or leave a care home.

Going abroad to live or visit

If you are going to live abroad permanently you cannot usually get Disability Living Allowance.

If you move to another country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you may continue to get it under certain circumstances. You must already receive the care component of Disability Living Allowance.

If your visit abroad is temporary, you may continue to get Disability Living Allowance. This is providing your absence from Great Britain does not last more than 26 weeks (this includes going on holiday).

Living in Great Britain

To get Disability Living Allowance you must generally:

  • be ordinarily resident in Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales)
  • be present in Great Britain when you claim
  • have been in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey for at least 26 weeks out of the last 52 weeks (the period is 13 weeks for babies under six months old and does not apply at all for people paid under special rules)
  • not be subject to immigration control

Immigration control does not stop you from getting Disability Living Allowance if you are:

  • a family member of a national of a European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • working in Great Britain as a national of a country which has an equal-treatment agreement with the European Union - that is Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and San Marino
  • living with one of these workers as a member of their family
  • a person who has been allowed to come into or stay in the UK because someone has agreed to be responsible for your maintenance and accommodation

You may be treated as being present in Great Britain if you are:

  • a member of HM Armed Forces serving abroad or a member of their family
  • a mariner or civilian airman working abroad
  • working in the United Kingdom sector of the continental shelf - on an oil rig, for example

Living in another European country

See 'Claiming disability benefits if you live in another European country' to find out if you can get Disability Living Allowance whilst living abroad.

Access keys