Disability Allowances

A Disability Living Allowance

In many instances, a very poorly child with a life-threatening illness will be entitled to claim a disability living allowance to offset the costs incurred to provide full-time care for the patient. In most instances the Disability Living Allowance or DLA can be applied for three months after a child’s diagnosis.


Claiming these benefits can help a parent or the child being cared for qualify for other benefits and/or tax credits:

  • If a person gets DLA or AA then the person caring for them may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance
  • Getting DLA or AA may help get a Council Tax discount (Rate Rebate in Northern Ireland)
  • Getting DLA might give you access to the Motability scheme or Blue Badge Parking Scheme


DLA and AA are more flexible than most benefits. For example:

  • DLA and AA are not means tested. They can be paid regardless of your income, savings or National Insurance contribution record.
  • Both benefits are tax free.
  • You can get DLA or AA even if you are working or studying.
  • There are no restrictions on how you can spend your DLA and AA money.
  • Carers who are disabled or ill can also claim AA or DLA in their own right, even if they already get, or qualify for, Carer’s Allowance.


Further information regarding the Allowances payable for those suffering from a long-term illness and requiring full-time care is available on the following websites:



Quids for Kids

Devon County Council and Devon Welfare Rights Unit (Citizens Advice) brings together a wide range of service providers, parents, carers and Councillors to help families to claim all the benefits and tax credits to which they are entitled. This scheme is called Quids for Kids and offers an initial entitlement check by telephone with a specialist adviser and follow-up home appointments to assist with the completion of claim forms.

The telephone number for this service is 0300 5000 404 or go online to:

Flexible Grants for Carers Breaks

Parents who are caring for a child with complex needs are entitled to a grant to spend on themselves, such as a meal out or any type of treat for them. Both parents can apply separately.

The grant is a minimum of £100. The only criteria are essentially that the person applying is a Carer. The application for this an A4 form of yes/no questions and there is no minimum number of ‘yes’s required.


To see the criteria, the link is below:

The way to access the grant is for the Carer themselves or a professional working with the family to fill out the request form and the application will be posted to family. A request for an application needs to be done individually, so it is not possible to request two or more application forms at the same time.