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Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people with epilepsy

This information applies to England, Scotland and Wales. For information on claiming DLA in Northern Ireland, go to the nidirect website.

What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?

DLA is a benefit to help with the extra costs of looking after a child who has a disability or health condition. In England, Scotland and Wales you can only make a new claim for DLA on behalf of a child under 16.

What will my child get?

If your child is eligible for DLA, they will get between £23.20 and £148.85 a week depending on the level of help they need. These amounts were correct in April 2019. For up-to-date information about the rates of DLA visit the government website.

Will my child get DLA?

Your child may be eligible for DLA if their epilepsy or any other disability or health condition means:

  • They need more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability and/or
  • They have difficulty getting about

They must have had these difficulties for at least 3 months and expect them to last for at least 6 months. If your child gets the middle or higher care rate of DLA and you care for them for 35 hours a week or more, you may be able to get Carer's Allowance.

How do I claim DLA?

Download the claim form from the government website  or call 0800 121 4600.

Cerebra is a charity for children with neurological problems, including epilepsy. They have a free step-by-step guide to filling in the DLA claim form. The guide also has information on what to do if you are unhappy with a DLA decision. You can download it from the Cerebra website, or request a copy by calling 0800 328 1159, or emailing info@cerebra.org.uk

What is happening to DLA for adults?

DLA is ending for adults who were born after 8 April 1948 and are 16 or over. It is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If you are 16 or over you cannot make a new claim for DLA. If you have an existing DLA claim, how the changes affect you depends on your age.

Born after 8 April 1948 and are 16 or over

If you are currently claiming DLA and are in the above age group, you can keep claiming it until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to you to:

  • Tell you when your DLA claim will end and
  • Invite you to apply for PIP

Epilepsy Action has more information about PIP. To find out when you’ll be invited to apply for PIP you can use the government’s online PIP checker.

Born on or before 8 April 1948

If you already have a claim for DLA, you can keep claiming this and will not have to apply for PIP.
If you are making a new claim and have reached state pension age, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance.

DLA in Northern Ireland

PIP is gradually being introduced in Northern Ireland. This means adults between 16 and 64 will gradually be invited to claim PIP rather than DLA.

Epilepsy Action has a list of useful organisations for support with benefits.


This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated April 2019
    To be reviewed April 2020

Comments: read the 4 comments or add yours


My daughter use to get DLA back in November she received a letter saying that she had to fill it out and send back for PIP so she did. Then last month she received a letter back saying that she doesn't qualify for PIP and DLA .So wrote back explaining her epilepsy to them and still they say she doesn't qualify. What can she do she has just turned 19 .

Submitted by Catherine Wood on

Dear Catherine

We completely understand your frustration. Our advice and information line receives many calls about Personal Independence Payment and the assessment process.

We have heard from many people who have been refused PIP but when they have asked for a reconsideration or appealed many have had the decision changed. Applying for benefits or asking for a reconsideration/appeal can be a challenge, as the rules can be quite complicated. If you haven’t already, you may wish to view our information on PIP and epilepsy.  If you think you daughter has been assessed wrongly it would be beneficial to get support with this from a specialist welfare benefits advisor, as their knowledge and experience can be invaluable. Organisations such as Citizens Advice or a local welfare rights unit can provide support with reconsiderations and appeals.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact our helpline team directly. You can either email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or phone the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to

Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Diane-Epilepsy ... on

Hi I claimed for pip a while ago and I was refused any help how do I go about trying a different claim it's for epilepsy

Submitted by John Haydock on

Hi John

We know that the  PIP process is a difficult one. You haven’t mentioned when you first claimed PIP but it may be worth knowing that there is a review of some existing PIP claims. You can find more about this and the PIP application process here:


If you were turned down for PIP less than a month ago you can ask for the DWP to look at the decision again. We have some information about how to do this here:


PIP and DLA are the 2 benefits that help with the extra costs of having a disability. PIP has now replaced DLA for anyone over 16. We have some information about other benefits you may be entitled to and links to further information about them here:


There is no waiting time to reapply for PIP as long as there is no award in payment. Again we recommend getting advice about doing this from a benefits adviser. You can use this link to Turn2us advice finder to search for benefits advisers in your area who could help you further:


If it would be helpful to talk any of this through with one of us on the advice line you would be welcome to get in touch:




Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

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