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Making it easier to move from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment

Young adult with a hearing aid

We have improved the way people who get Child Disability Payment move over to Adult Disability Payment.

When disability assistance was first introduced, if someone was eligible for Adult Disability Payment, it would be paid from the date their application was approved.

This meant the day they received Adult Disability Payment could be different from the day they’d previously received Child Disability Payment.

Clients told us this could cause difficulty managing their finances. We have listened and Adult Disability Payment will now be paid on the same day as their Child Disability Payment previously was.

No matter when they’re approved for Adult Disability Payment, the client’s last Child Disability Payment will be the same amount that they've always received, at the time they expect to receive it. This will be followed four weeks later by their first, full Adult Disability Payment on their usual payment day. This means clients will know how much they are going to get and when they will get it.

The exception to this is if a decision is made on someone’s Adult Disability Payment application after their 19th birthday.

Applying for Adult Disability Payment

People don’t automatically move from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment. This is because someone who is eligible for one may not be eligible for the other, or they may not be eligible for the same amount of money even if they are eligible for both benefits.

People who get Child Disability Payment can apply for Adult Disability Payment from the age of 16. When a child or young person reaches age 16, they are legally responsible for their own benefits and can manage them themselves. If they are unable to do this, we can appoint someone to do it for them.

Child Disability Payment normally stops when the person reaches 18, so it’s important clients apply for Adult Disability Payment well before this time. If they don’t, their Child Disability Payment will stop.

If they apply for Adult Disability Payment before reaching age 18 and a decision has not been made before their birthday, then their Child Disability Payment can continue (until age 19).

We aim to contact people who get Child Disability Payment three times to encourage them to apply for the adult benefit.

The first time is five months before the person’s 16th birthday. We contact them twice more once they are 17. But clients don’t need to wait for a letter from us to make their Adult Disability Payment application.

There are special rules for clients who have a terminal illness. They receive the maximum Child Disability Payment award and can choose to stay on this benefit indefinitely. If they choose to move to Adult Disability Payment, we transfer them with no need for an application form and they will also get the maximum award.

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