Disability Living Allowance

Man on a mobility scooter

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is still received by many older people in Scotland, however there have been significant changes to the rules.

DLA is a tax free, non-means tested benefit for people who have care and/or mobility needs. It used to be the main disability benefit for working age people, however it is no longer available for new claimants.  If you were aged 65 or over on the 8th of April 2013 and you are receiving DLA, you can continue to claim it for as long as you meet the criteria.  See the UK Government guidance surrounding DLA which includes the different rates it is paid at.   

If you were aged between 16 - 64 before the 8th of April 2013 and applied before the 10th of June 2013 in Scotland, you were able to apply for DLA.  However due to changes under Welfare Reform, DLA has now been replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for new claimants.     

If you make a new claim after the 10th of June 2013, you have to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead. 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have been processing applications in Scotland for new PIP claimants in Scotland since June 2013.  However, this has been taking longer to implement than they originally anticipated.  For this reason, at present it is unlikely that anyone who is already claiming DLA in Scotland will be assessed for PIP until at least October 2015.  If you are in this position, you should be informed personally about when you need to claim PIP by the DWP.  You do not have to do anything until you are notified.

There is an exception to this rule however.  If your post code begins with DG, EH, TD or ML this means that you live in a Scottish 're-assessment area' for PIP.  This means that if you are claiming DLA and you report a change of circumstances to the DWP, you will be asked to apply for PIP instead.   It also means that existing claimants  of DLA will be able to claim PIP instead if you live in one of these specific areas. 

The DWP have developed a PIP 'toolkit' which gives up to date information concerning the gradual process of re-assessing DLA claimants.    

If you want to know what will happen to your DLA benefit under Welfare Reform, call the Silver Line Scotland team on 0800 4 70 80 90 for advice on your individual situation.

Alternatively, you can use the online checker on the Government’s website to see how you may be affected.

Further information

For new claimants, see our sister charity Age UK's factsheet.Personal Independence Payment.

If you would like further information about DLA and the changes to this benefit under Welfare Reform, see the following factsheet.

DLA factsheet from Age Scotland partner Age UK



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