£60m for disabled children in first year of new Scottish benefit
Minister urges those eligible to apply
Almost £60 million has been distributed to thousands of families with disabled children in the first year of a new Scottish benefit.
The latest official figures from Social Security Scotland show the families of nearly 44,000 children and young people were receiving Child Disability Payment in September this year.
The benefit replaces the DWP’s Disability Living Allowance for Children and helps cover the extra costs of caring for a child who is disabled, has a health condition or is terminally ill.
Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said:
“Caring for a child who is disabled or has a long-term ill-health condition can result in extra costs for families, from buying specialist equipment to paying for taxis to get to appointments. It can also be more expensive for children with disabilities to take part in the activities and opportunities with their peers.
“Child Disability Payment helps parents to support their children and assists young people to live their lives to the fullest. It is welcome news that around 44,000 families are now receiving Child Disability Payment, a year after we rolled it out across Scotland.
“With the increasing financial pressures on families, it is important people are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to. I urge anyone who thinks they or their child may be eligible to get in touch with Social Security Scotland, as well as checking if they may be entitled to extra financial support by visiting costofliving.campaign.gov.scot/”
One parent who knows the difference Child Disability Payment can make, is mum Heather, whose son has autism and ADHD.
Heather said: “Before applying for Child Disability Payment, my son was struggling. He found school very hard and didn’t think he was good at anything. He couldn’t focus, didn’t have friends and was worried he’d never be able to get a job. His self-esteem was so low.
“Child Disability Payment allowed me to buy him a computer and pay for outdoor school sessions. That might not sound like much but it’s changed his life.
“The outdoor school lets him learn in much smaller groups and in an active way that suits his brain. The computer and the games have let him learn new skills including maths, something he found impossible before.
“He’s also discovered he’s exceptionally good at games. That’s given him something to feel proud of for the first time and something to talk to other children about.
“He’s now talking about becoming a game developer or working for a big tech company.
“It if wasn’t for Child Disability Payment there’s no way I could have afforded any of that and he’d still be the same boy who cried every night not wanting to go to school.
“I’d urge any parent or carer who thinks they might be eligible to look into applying for Child Disability Payment.
“The process is much simpler than you might think and the money could change your child’s life.”
The latest figures show 34,000 people who had been receiving Disability Living Allowance for Children before Child Disability Payment was rolled out, have had their award transferred to Social Security Scotland.
The majority of those still receiving Disability Living Allowance for children in Scotland are expected to have their awards transferred by Spring next year, with no need for the recipient to take any action and no break in payments.
- Child Disability Payment: high level statistics to 30 September 2022 were published on 15 November 2022.
- Child Disability Payment provides extra money to help with extra costs of caring for children or young people with a disability, long-term health condition or a terminal illness, up to the age of 18.
- Child Disability Payment replaces the UK Government’s Disability Living Allowance for children. 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 to the new system. This is happening in a phased approach and we aim to have the transfer process completed for everyone in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for children by spring 2023
- People can apply for Child Disability Payment online, over the phone, by post or in-person.
- People can find out more and apply through mygov.scot or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.