DISABILITY Living Allowance (DLA) is available for people who have extra care or mobility needs because of a disability or health condition.

Here's how the benefit works, how much you might be able to receive, who is eligible for it, how to claim, and how it will work alongside Universal Credit.

The DLA is made up of two parts, the care component and the mobility component, and itís possible to claim for one or both of these depending on your circumstances.

It is no longer available for new claimants who are aged 16 or over - they will have to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

For those already receiving DLA, if you havenít already, you will be transferred onto PIP unless you are living in England, Scotland or Wales and were born before 8 April 1949, or you live in Northern Ireland and were born before 20 June 1951.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you to tell you when you are being moved to PIP.

Are you eligible for DLA?
In order to claim for DLA the child receiving it needs to be under 16 and for at least three months before the claim is made they need to have had care or mobility needs.

The child will also need to have lived in Great Britain for two of the last three years, not be subject to immigration control, and be in Great Britain or a European Economic Area country when the application is made.

Care needs are related to things like needing help or supervision when getting dressed, going to the toilet, or cooking a meal.

Mobility needs relate to not being able to walk or walking with difficulty, or if the person needs help from someone else when they are outside the house because of a physical or mental disability.

With both care and mobility needs it doesnít matter if the person doesnít actually receive help at the moment, they just need to show it's needed.

For people who have terminal illnesses, there is an exception to the rule. They should be able to receive the highest amount of the care component immediately. In order to get this, they need the DS 100 form, which is available from a doctor.

How much disability living allowance can you apply for?
The care component of DLA is made up of three rates and how much you receive depends on your care needs. The lowest rate is £22.65, the medium rate is £57.30, and the highest is £85.60.

For the mobility component there are two rates, the lower is £22.65 and the higher is £59.75.

There is also a Christmas bonus of £10 which is paid automatically each year.

The money is paid directly into a bank account every four weeks and if the claimant goes into hospital payments are stopped after four weeks.

How does Universal Credit work with DLA?
Universal Credit is replacing a number of benefits including Housing Benefit, Jobseekerís Allowance and Employment Support Allowance, but DLA is not one of them.

The only change you need to be aware of is when you need to start claiming for PIP instead, which will happen once the DWP contacts you.

How to claim for DLA
You can claim for DLA for a child aged under 16 by filling out the claim form, printing it, and sending it to the relevant office (the address is on the form).

For extra help, or for a printed form to be sent to you, you will need to call the Disability Living Allowance helpline on 0800 121 4600, Monday to Friday, between 8am to 7.30pm.