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Information relating to eligibility for Child Disability Payment and specific conditions including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

FOI Reference: FOI/202200328749
Date received: 4 November 2022
Date responded: 18 November 2022


You asked multiple questions regarding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE), in utero exposure to drugs, prescription opiate medications, [and the information] that is used in the award of child disability.


Each application is reviewed individually. Case Managers make decisions on each application but call on Health and Social Care Practitioners (nurses, allied health professionals, social workers) for specialist advice and further consideration of the application where required. Health and Social Care Practitioners review information that is available to support the applicant to assist the Case Manager in reaching a decision about eligibility for Child Disability Payment. Both sets of staff are directly employed by Social Security Scotland.

We have answered each of your questions individually below.

Please provide the information used by the assessor and medical practitioner who reviews applications for Child Disability Payment, for the medical conditions detailed.

There is a dedicated team of Child Disability Payment Practitioners who are recruited specifically for their qualifications and experience with services for Children and Young People. They use their own clinical knowledge and also review further supporting information from the National Health Service (NHS), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), British Medical Journal (BMJ), and university publications. Peer support is also encouraged amongst practitioners.

Please advise if there is an automatic CDP care and mobility award level linked to any diagnosis.

No, each application is reviewed on an individual basis.

Please confirm that a diagnosis of FASD, or PAE automatically acknowledges "arrested brain development" thus the child application is granted as High Rate Mobility or High Rate Care satisfying the legal requirement to demonstrate Severe Mental Impairment (SMI).

It is acknowledged that brain development may be impacted due to these conditions and the severity of presentation of conditions is reviewed individually for each specific case. Symptoms vary with each application and child, and therefore Social Security Scotland will review all information prior to responding.

Please advise does Autism automatically demonstrate SMI.

No. Autism does not automatically demonstrate meeting the criteria for Scottish Government’s Severe Mental Impairment (SMI) criteria. Autism is on a spectrum which means everyone with an Autism diagnosis will experience different challenges and difficulties. Some may require little/moderate support and others may require a high level of support. All applications are reviewed on an individual basis and all supporting information is considered.

Please advise does ADHD automatically demonstrate SMI.

No. ADHD does not automatically demonstrate meeting the criteria for Scottish Government’s Severe Mental Impairment (SMI) criteria. Similar to Autism, people diagnosed with ADHD present with different challenges and experiences and therefore Social Security Scotland will review every application on an individual basis and all supporting information is considered.

Does the medical assessor have details of the FASD sign guidelines 156?

Yes. Child Disability Payment Practitioners within Social Security Scotland have access to FASD SIGN guidelines 156. SIGN guidelines are referenced regularly throughout practitioners responses.

[Does the medical assessor have] training from FAASD team at Edinburgh University and or

No external training has been obtained from Edinburgh University or

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