Child Disability Payment opens nationally from November
Scotland’s Child Disability Payment will open for new applications across the country from 22 November 2021.
The roll-out follows a successful pilot launched in July across Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and the Western Isles council areas.
This is the first of the complex disability benefits to be introduced nationwide by the Scottish Government and replaces the UK Government’s Disability Living Allowance for children. The payment provides financial assistance to help meet the additional costs associated with having a disability.
Families of children and young people with a disability or terminal illness can apply to the new benefit administered by Social Security Scotland.
Those already receiving Disability Living Allowance for children do not need to make a new application as we will contact them ahead of their award being automatically transferred. This will happen in a phased approach from mid-October. We aim to have the transfer process completed for everyone in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for children by spring 2023.
We will begin by transferring the cases of those aged 16 or over in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for children and those with a terminal illness. All other clients aged up to 15-years-old will have their award transferred from spring 2022.
Awards will continue to be made at the same rates and on the same payment cycle as their previous Disability Living Allowance for children.
To enable people to apply in the way that suits them best, it will be the first disability benefit in the UK that can be applied for online, as well as being available by post, phone, or face to face (COVID-19 restrictions permitting).
More than 85% of applications were received online in the first six weeks of Child Disability Payment being launched in the pilot areas.
Shona Robison, social justice secretary, said: “We have developed Child Disability Payment with families involved throughout the entire process, so that we ensure their needs and expectations are at the centre of everything we do. We have learned from the challenges families typically experience in the UK service and have developed a simplified, less time consuming and much less stressful system that treats everyone with dignity, fairness and respect.
“We are committed to doing things differently and making sure that applying for and receiving disability assistance from Social Security Scotland is fundamentally different to the UK system.
“I am proud that we are now in the position to expand Child Disability Payment across the country after thoroughly and successfully testing our processes in the Dundee, Perth & Kinross and the Western Isles pilot.”
Mairi Simpson, family support worker for Parent to Parent in Perth & Kinross, has supported parents completing the new Child Disability Payment form during the pilot.
She commented: “The feedback from parents has been extremely positive. Parents felt the forms were easier than they had envisioned and when they spoke to someone on the phone, calls were pleasant and helpful.
“The form did not feel as negative and it felt easier to get parents to put into their own words what they have to do. It did not take as long to complete the forms and it helped not having to put the exact time or minutes it takes to complete a care task, as this can vary significantly.
“A little bit of understanding about living with a disabled child and the reason behind having to apply for disability payment makes parents feel they are doing the right thing for their child.”