Child Disability Payment to be introduced next summer



Child Disability Payment will be the next new benefit to be introduced by the Scottish Government.

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP

In an update to the Scottish Parliament yesterday, cabinet secretary for social security Shirley-Anne Somerville said Social Security Scotland will start taking applications from summer 2021 as part of a pilot, ahead of a full roll-out across the country from autumn 2021.

This will be followed by the introduction of Adult Disability Payment, which will be piloted from spring 2022 and available across the country by summer 2022.

Child Disability Payment will replace the DWP’s Disability Living Allowance for Children and Adult Disability Payment will replace Personal Independence Payment.

People who currently get UK Government disability benefits will be transferred to the new Scottish system in stages after the new benefits are introduced. This work is expected to be completed to the previously announced timeline of 2025.

Once Adult Disability Payment has been rolled out, anyone on Personal Independence Payment or Working Age Disability Living Allowance who reports a change in condition, has an upcoming review date, or is about to reach the end of their DWP award period, will transfer to Social Security Scotland so that they do not have to undergo a DWP face-to-face assessment. 

The Cabinet Secretary also confirmed the ambition to roll out Scottish Child Payment to under-16s by the end of 2022, subject to getting the data for 6-16-year-olds from the DWP.

Ms Somerville said: “I am pleased we have been able to make progress this year with our work to establish a new social security system for Scotland, despite the impacts of COVID-19. Our progress includes the introduction of three new benefits. Our Job Start Payment helps young people starting a new job after a period of unemployment. Child Winter Heating Assistance will help families of the most seriously disabled children and young people heat their homes. And through our prioritising of the game-changing Scottish Child Payment, we were able to start taking applications for children under six last week.

“Ahead of COVID-19, we were on track with our other new benefits too. However, the pandemic halted that. There was a limit to what we could do given the changes to our own operations and without the valuable input from delivery partners. We were forced to review our timeline for the introduction of these more complex benefits. Given how close we were to introducing the first of our major disability assistance payments, this is of course hugely disappointing to me. I know that feeling will be shared by others.

“It is clear that while the fight against this virus continues, work needs to be re-prioritised by both the Scottish Government and our partners to focus on the response and recovery. Health and social care professionals - whose expertise we need to deliver disability benefits - are rightly working on the frontline to both fight this virus and restart health services. Councils are concentrating on maintaining services, while providing the additional support people need right now. The Department for Work and Pensions, who are essential partners in the work on the transfer of benefits, face similar challenges.

“Working with these partners we have developed as ambitious a timeline as possible, while remaining cognisant that COVID-19 is still here – indeed we remain in the grip of it. The new timeline I have set out today is reasonable and realistic. 

“I am glad that I am now able to provide people with more clarity. Being transparent about our plans and what is achievable is part of ensuring our social security system continues to treat people with dignity, fairness and respect.”

The news follows an announcement in April 2020 that outlined the impact of COVID-19 on the introduction of further devolved benefits.

Position papers setting out what disability benefits under the Scottish Government will look like were published last month.



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