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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. We have more information about what is happening to DLA for adults.

What will my child get?

If your child is eligible for DLA, they will get between £22 and £141.10 a week depending on the level of help they need. These amounts were correct in November 2017. 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 0345 712 3456.

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 are 65 or over, 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. This is likely to be completed by December 2018.

Where can I get help with benefits?

Provides a free online benefits calculator and grants search tool to help you find out what financial help you are entitled to.
Website: turn2us.org.uk
Helpline: 0808 802 2000

Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice provides advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. Check the website or your local phonebook for details of your nearest Citizens Advice service.
Telephone advice in England: 0344 111 444
Telephone advice in Wales: 0344 77 20 20
Find your local Citizens Advice in Scotland
Find your local Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland
Website: citizensadvice.org.uk

Offers benefits advice for people with disabled children.
Website: cafamily.org.uk
Helpline: 0808 808 3555

Disability Information and Advice Line services, run by and for disabled people. They may be able to refer you to someone who can help you fill out claim forms for benefits (provided there is someone in your area).
Helpline: 0808 800 3333 (to find your local group)
Website: scope.org.uk/dial

This website has lots of information about all the different benefits that are available.
Website: gov.uk/browse/benefits

Disability Rights UK
This website has a number of free factsheets you can download. It offers basic information about benefits, tax credits, social care and other disability-related issues for claimants and advisers.
Website: disabilityrightsuk.org

Cerebra have a free guide which takes you through each stage of applying for Disability Living Allowance for children.
Tel: 0800 328 1159
Website: cerebra.org.uk

Welfare Rights Unit
Welfare Rights Units give free advice and support on benefits. Some can also help with completing claim forms and appealing benefits decisions. Contact your local council to find out if they have a Welfare Rights Unit. To find your local council visit gov.uk/find-your-local-council

NI Direct
This website has lots of information about the benefits that are available in Northern Ireland.
Website: nidirect.gov.uk

Advice NI
Offers information, advice, advocacy and representation for people in Northern Ireland.
Helpline: 0800 988 2377
Website: adviceni.net


This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated November 2016
    To be reviewed November 2017

Comments: read the 6 comments or add yours


Hi I was diagnosed with epilepsy at 25 now I'm 32 i live alone and have them in my sleep I have a manual job and I have not had one for 2 years but my job is very dusty and no heating. because of this I now have alot of breathing troubles I've been the hospital many times I've lost count would I qualify to live on disability so my health. won't get worse

Submitted by lee knight on

Hi Lee

Thank you for your post.

It would be best to ask this question to a welfare benefits advisor, as they have knowledge and experience in all the different benefits. You could contact organisations such as Citizens Advice or a local welfare rights unit.

There is also the charityTurn2us who can do a benefits checker for you.

As your work is causing problems with your health, you may wish to talk to your local job centre. You could talk to them about options such as looking for alternative work.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Diane-Epilepsy ... on

My son was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2013 and received DLA that was stopped a year later. I didn't challenged their decision as i thought they were right. My son still has seizures and taking Oxcarzepine(1200mg morning and 900 mg evening) and buccalam to administrate when siezures last more than 5 minutes. I applied again last month and the decision was negative giving me reasons that my son is fine.
I need your advise please.

Submitted by Karina on


I am guessing that your son is a child. In order to receive DLA you have to prove that your son needs more looking after than any other child of a similar age.

Cerebra publish a guide to completing the DLA from. You might find that useful.

Adults now have to claim Personal Independence Payments (PIP) rather than DLA. But you might find it useful to look at our information on PIP. It might give you a few tips on how to squeeze information about epilepsy into a form that does not deal well with fluctuating conditions. You may also want to see if Citizens Advice is able to help.

I hope that’s useful information for you.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

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