What is the Difference Between PIP, DLA, and AA in the World of Disability Benefits?


When it comes to disability benefits, matters tend to be extremely complex. Seemingly endless conditions and regulations apply to each program. Some conflict or overlap with one another whereas others leave sizable gaps in both information and coverage. Certain terms generate a great deal of confusion, and a number of resources bring about more questions than they answer.

Shedding Some Light on the Situation

While we could spend days or even weeks discussing all the finer points surrounding disability benefits via https://www.longtermdisabilitylawyer.com/2017/07/how-offsets-can-affect-your-disability-benefits/, certain aspects stand out for being particularly baffling. Distinguishing the differences between DLA, PIP and AA happens to fall into that category. Our goal here is to help clear up some of the common confusion regarding these terms.

DLA Explained

Short for Disability Living Allowance, the DLA is allotted to people ages 16 to 64 who are living with disabilities. It’s designed to help cover the costs of medical care and mobility needs stemming from disabling physical or mental conditions. In most cases, eligibility for the DLA isn’t restricted due to income and other financial resources; it’s simply a means for covering additional expenses associated with certain disabilities.

PIP Clarified

PIP or Personal Independence Payment is a newly revised program to aid in dealing with many of the extra costs often accompanying disabilities. It’s also the DLA’s successor as the Disability Living Allowance is slowly being eliminated. As is the case with the DLA, the PIP is available to those who are 16 to 64 years old and living with certain types of disabilities.

An authoritative source indicates the PIP is divided into two separate sections. One helps cover the costs of assistance with daily living, such as bathing, cooking, medical care, communication, and other routine tasks. The program’s second component is geared toward the mobility aspect of disabilities.

Certain points of contention are arising in regard to the PIP. Unlike its predecessor, eligibility for this program is partially determined by financial circumstances rather than being based on need alone. Regardless, it will ultimately replace the DLA for virtually everyone currently receiving benefits.

AA Interpreted

Whereas the DLA and PIP are designed for those 16 to 64 years old, AA is geared toward people 65 and older who are living with significant physical or mental disabilities or combinations of the two. AA stands for Attendance Allowance and is granted to those whose conditions warrant the need for substantial at-home care.

Eligibility for these benefits is based on both need and financial circumstances. In most cases, only those who have required assistance for six months or longer qualify for AA. Certain exceptions do apply, such as those suffering from terminal illnesses. While those facing out-of-pocket expenses for nursing homes or assisted living facilities may qualify for AA, those receiving financial assistance typically aren’t considered eligible.

Bottom Line

For most people, the world of disability benefits is a convoluted one. It’s certainly filled with an endless array of options, variations, considerations and hoops to jump through. In many cases, the mountains of paperwork are also involved.

Not everyone can navigate the application process alone; in fact, very few have done so successfully. Factor in the numerous denials and appeals to potentially enter the mix, and matters become even more perplexing. Help is readily available, though, and there’s no shame in reaching out for guidance and assistance.


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