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Child Disability Payment – helping children and young people be all they can be

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Shirley Anne Somerville meets with pupils of Carrongrange High School

When designing our disability benefits, we collaborated with disabled people and their families to create a better and more compassionate system, putting dignity, fairness and respect at its heart.

Child Disability Payment was launched in November 2021. It helps families cover the extra costs of looking after a child or young person who is disabled, who has a long-term health condition or who is terminally ill. Importantly, it isn’t means tested.

Since its introduction, over 80,500 children and young people have received the payment, with more than £621 million being paid out.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, visited Carrongrange High School - Falkirk Council’s secondary school for pupils with severe and complex additional support needs – on 1 May. The school’s motto is, ‘Carrongrange - Where you can be all you can be’.

We spoke to children and their families and learned what impact Child Disability Payment has on the lives of pupils who receive it and how it is helping them to live full and independent lives.

Dughall Boyne’s daughter, Rosselyn, has bilateral coloboma, a condition which prevented her eyes from developing properly. She receives Child Disability Payment.

Dughall, father of Rosselyn

According to Dughall:

“Child Disability Payment has been very important for Rosselyn. Everything costs more when you have a disability. The payments have allowed us to find after-school activities for Rosselyn which have helped develop her independence. She likes horse-riding but riding lessons for the disabled cost a lot more, because you need three people around the horse.

“Rosselyn has now moved on to Adult Disability Payment and the transfer has been very smooth. We were told at regular intervals what was happening with things like setting up the named contact.

“There were no big forms to fill in and it was all online. We just had to tick the box saying that there had been no change in Rosselyn’s condition. Previously, with the DWP, there was a 13-page form to complete. It’s certainly helped to take a couple of hours off the process and it’s been well received by parents throughout the school.”

Catherine and her son Louis

Catherine Sneddon’s son, Louis, also goes to Carrongrange. She echoed Dughall’s words about Social Security Scotland’s human rights approach to delivering disability benefits.

“Louis has been on Disability Living Allowance since he was diagnosed in 2013. Back then I didn’t know if he’d be able to claim and it was a constant battle with the DWP.

“It’s only recently that he’s transferred over to Child Disability Payment. It was much more plain sailing than I anticipated. I expected a fight and what I got was a questionnaire through the post. The level of care he gets has been the same for three years so I ticked the box saying, ‘He’s stable.’ And that was it.

“With the DWP I would have had to get a letter from his neurologist to prove he still needed Disability Living Allowance for children. For them your child is what they see on the form. They don’t know how hard it is to care for a child with a disability at home, at school and in the community.

“Social Security Scotland is so different.”

Janine Proudlock, Carrongrange’s headteacher, described exactly how Child Disability Payment helps pupils be all they can be:

“For me the Scottish Child Disability Payment supports families to ensure they have the right resources, at the right to time to do the right work to allow the whole family to flourish. Whether it’s caring support or specialised resources to meet their child’s needs, this is an essential fund to improve the lives of young people and their families.”

People can find out more about Child Disability Payment and apply by visiting mygov.scot/childdisabilitypayment or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.

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