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Disability Living Allowance - your circumstances

Your entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the amount is based on the information you told the Disability and Carers Service. If there are any changes to the information it is your responsibility to tell them. They can check your entitlement to DLA and how much you should get.

Changes you need to tell the Disability and Carers Service about

Report a change of circumstances

Your disability or medical condition

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is not based on your disability but the needs arising from it. So even if your disability doesn’t change, your needs and ability to cope may change. You might:

  • have changed your medication
  • need more or less help carrying out daily tasks
  • find it more difficult to walk or it takes you more time to walk the same distance

Examples of changes include a change in:

  • care arrangements- you or someone you claim for goes into hospital or a care home
  • your condition- surgery, such as a hip replacement, could relieve your walking difficulty
  • medication-more effective medication could enable you to go out without supervision
  • mobility aids-with the fitting of a false leg, you might now be able to walk without severe discomfort
  • personal care needs - you may now need help several times in the night to get out of bed and get to the toilet

The changes may be gradual, so it may be difficult to pinpoint the date they started. If you are unsure if the change affects your benefit, it's your responsibility to contact the Disability and Carers Service to find out.


Changes in circumstances include you, or someone you claim for, going into or leaving hospital.

Care homes

Changes in circumstances include you, or someone you claim for, going into or leaving a care home.

Going abroad to live or visit

If you are going to live abroad permanently you cannot usually get Disability Living Allowance.

If you move to another country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and you already receive Disability Living Allowance, you may continue to get it under certain circumstances.

If your visit abroad is temporary, you may continue to get Disability Living Allowance if:

Living in Northern Ireland

To get Disability Living Allowance you must

  • be normally resident and present in Northern Ireland
  • be in Northern Ireland when you make your claim
  • have been in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey for at least 26 weeks out of the last 52 weeks (the period is 13 weeks for babies under six months old and does not apply at all for people paid under special rules).
  • not be subject to immigration control

Immigration control does not stop you from getting Disability Living Allowance if you are either:

  • a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country
  • working in Northern Ireland as a national of a country which has an equal-treatment agreement with the European Union - that is Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and San Marino
  • living with one of these workers as a member of their family
  • a person who has been allowed to come into or stay in the UK because someone has agreed to be responsible for your maintenance and accommodation

You may be treated as living in Northern Ireland if you are:

What else you need to know

It's your responsibility to tell the Disability and Carers Service (DCS) about any changes. Your benefit may continue at the same rate, increase, decrease or stop depending on the change.

If you are claiming Disability Living Allowance on behalf of someone else, it is your responsibility to tell the DCS about any changes.

If the Disability and Carers Service overpay you, you will normally have to repay the money. You may be prosecuted if you fail to tell them about a change.

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