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how to apply for DLA for an autistic child

How to Apply for DLA for an Autistic Child

Welcome to our guide on applying for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for your autistic child. As a parent or carer of a child with autism, you know the importance of getting the right support and resources to help your child develop and thrive. DLA can provide financial support and additional resources to make this possible.

In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of applying for DLA for your child. We’ll explain what DLA is, how it benefits autistic children, and what you need to know before you begin the application process. We’ll also provide guidance on gathering supporting documentation and completing the application form accurately.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to complete a successful DLA application for your autistic child. Let’s get started!

Understanding DLA and Its Benefits for Autistic Children

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a financial support system available to families in the UK with children who have additional care needs due to a disability or long-term health condition. DLA can provide much-needed resources and support for autistic children, helping them to access services and equipment that can make a significant difference in their daily life.

DLA support for an autistic child can include financial assistance, such as a tax-free weekly payment or additional funds to help with specific expenses related to the child’s care needs. DLA can also provide additional resources, such as mobility aids, therapy sessions, and specialized equipment.

For autistic children, DLA is particularly important in ensuring they receive the necessary support for their development and well-being. Autism can present a wide range of challenges, from difficulties with communication and social interaction to sensory sensitivities and emotional regulation.

With DLA support, parents or guardians of autistic children can afford to access specialist services, such as speech and language therapy or occupational therapy, which can be costly but can make a real difference in the child’s life. DLA can also help with the cost of sensory equipment, such as weighted blankets or ear defenders, which can help alleviate sensory overload and distress.

Overall, DLA benefits for an autistic child can be life-changing, offering the necessary resources and financial support to support the child’s growth, development, and well-being.

Checking DLA Eligibility for Your Autistic Child

If you are considering applying for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for your autistic child, the first step is to check their eligibility. DLA is a benefit that provides financial support to children and adults who have care or mobility needs as a result of a disability or health condition.

To be eligible for DLA, your child must have a disability or health condition that impacts their daily life. This can include difficulties with communication, social interaction, sensory processing, or personal care. For autistic children, the eligibility criteria are based on the level of support they need due to their condition.

When assessing your child’s eligibility for DLA, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) considers the frequency and intensity of care that your child requires compared to a non-disabled child of the same age. This means that if your child needs more support than a non-disabled child, they may be eligible for DLA.

It is important to note that eligibility for DLA is not based on diagnosis alone. If your child has autism but does not have significant care or mobility needs, they may not be eligible for DLA. However, if your child’s autism impacts their daily life and care needs, they may be eligible for DLA.

What are the eligibility requirements for DLA?

The eligibility requirements for DLA include:

  • Your child must be under the age of 16
  • Your child must have care or mobility needs due to a disability or health condition
  • Your child must have needed care or mobility support for at least 3 months, and be expected to need it for at least another 6 months
  • Your child must meet the disability test, which considers the impact of their condition on their daily life

If your child meets these eligibility requirements, they may be eligible for DLA. It is important to note that the eligibility criteria can be complex, and it may be helpful to seek advice from a professional who is familiar with DLA applications.

Step-by-Step DLA Application Process for Autistic Child

Now that you understand the importance of DLA for supporting your autistic child, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of applying for it. The following guide will walk you through the necessary steps to complete your DLA application for your autistic child.

Gather Necessary Documentation:

Before you begin filling out the application form, make sure you have all the necessary documentation in hand. This includes:

  • Personal information for you and your child, including National Insurance numbers
  • Your child’s medical information, such as diagnosis and treatment history
  • Information about your child’s education and any special needs they require
  • Any supporting documents, such as medical reports or professional statements

Fill out the Application Form:

The DLA application form can be found online or requested by phone. Take your time filling out the form and ensure that you provide all the necessary information. Be sure to include specific examples of your child’s daily care needs and challenges related to their autism. The more detailed and accurate your application is, the better chance you have of being approved.

Remember to use clear and concise language, and avoid using medical jargon or abbreviations that may not be understood by someone who is not a medical professional.

Submit Your Application:

Once you have completed the application form and gathered all necessary documentation, it’s time to submit your application. If you are applying online, you can submit the application electronically. If you are mailing in your application, be sure to include all required documents and mail the application to the address provided on the form.

After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation that it has been received. The processing time for DLA applications can vary, but you should receive a decision within three months.

Remember, if you have any questions or need assistance with your DLA application, you can contact the DLA helpline for support.


Completing the DLA application process for your autistic child may seem daunting, but it’s an essential step in ensuring they receive the support and resources they need. By following the above steps and providing accurate and detailed information, you increase your chances of being approved for DLA and providing your child with the care they deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a UK government benefit designed to provide financial assistance and support for individuals with disabilities, including autistic children. It helps cover the extra costs associated with their care and mobility needs.

How can DLA benefit my autistic child?

DLA can provide financial support to help meet your autistic child’s care and mobility needs. It can help cover the costs of therapies, specialized equipment, and additional support services, improving their quality of life and development.

How do I check if my autistic child is eligible for DLA?

Eligibility for DLA is determined based on the impact of your child’s condition on their daily life and care needs. Autism-related challenges such as difficulties with communication, social interaction, or personal care may meet the eligibility requirements. Contact the Department for Work and Pensions for more information.

What is the step-by-step process for applying for DLA for my autistic child?

The application process for DLA involves gathering necessary documentation, filling out the application form accurately, and submitting it to the appropriate authorities. Our detailed guide in Section 4 provides step-by-step instructions to help you complete the DLA application for your autistic child.

What supporting documents and additional information should I provide for the DLA application?

It is important to include supporting documents such as medical reports, educational assessments, and statements from professionals familiar with your child’s condition. These documents help strengthen your DLA application by providing additional information about your child’s needs and challenges.

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