Benefits and allowances

If you have an illness or disability

Attendance Allowance (AA)

If you are over 65 and you need help looking after yourself, you may qualify for Attendance Allowance. There are two rates, higher and lower, depending on the care you need. AA is not means tested and is tax free.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

New Claims

You can only make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you’re claiming for a child under 16 - this is known as DLA for children.

Anyone aged 16-64 must apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead of DLA.

Existing Claims

PIP is gradually replacing DLA for people aged 16 to 64, even for those with an indefinite or lifetime DLA award. If you were 65 or over on 8 April 2013 you can continue to get DLA if you’re eligible.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.

You can get PIP whether or not you work. PIP has two components:

A daily living component

for help participating in everyday life;

A mobility component

for help with getting around.

You can be paid either the daily living component or the mobility component on its own, or both components at the same time.

Each component is paid at two different levels: a ‘standard rate’ and an ‘enhanced rate’. The rate you are paid depends on whether your ability to carry out daily living or mobility activities is ‘limited’ or ‘severely limited’. This is tested under the PIP assessment

 You can check how Personal Independence Payment (PIP) affects you using the PIP checker

Employment Support Allowance

If you’re ill or disabled and under State Pension age, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers you financial support if you’re unable to work, and personalised help so that you can work if you’re able to. You can apply for ESA if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed, or a student on Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

You might be transferred to ESA if you’ve been claiming other benefits like Income Support or Incapacity Benefit. You must go to a Work Capability Assessment while your ESA claim is being assessed. This is to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work.

You’ll then be placed in 1 of 2 groups if you’re entitled to ESA:

  • work-related activity group, where you’ll have regular interviews with an adviser
  • Or support group, where you don’t have interviews.

How much ESA you get depends on your circumstances and the type of ESA you qualify for. You won’t be eligible for income-related ESA if you get Universal Credit.

You can make a claim to ESA by filling in and print out the (ESA1) form available at GOV.UK and taking it to your local Jobcentre Plus office, or over the phone:


ID: 2161, revised 14/07/2022