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Special Needs: What Is the Child Disability Payment In Scotland?

By IntFormalities
Published on October 26, 2023
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Scotland has some benefit schemes that vary from those offered in the rest of the UK. In countries such as England and Wales, when it comes to children’s disability benefits, the most common benefit scheme is the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children. In Scotland, the same benefit is known as the Child Disability Payment.

How much is child disability payment in Scotland?
Child Disability Payment provides payments to meet the additional costs of looking after a disabled child

What Is the Child Disability Payment?

Child Disability Payment provides payments to meet the additional costs of looking after a disabled child.  It is open to any disabled child under 16 and covers physical or mental disabilities (for example autism). Payments are available until the child reaches 18. Afterwards, they will move on to the Adult Disability Payment.  

How Do the Scottish Child Disability Payments Work?

The tax-free benefit comprises 2 parts: the Care segment and the Mobility segment. Children aged 3 months or more may be eligible for the care segment, while those 3 years or over may become eligible for the mobility segment. 

Terminally ill children are automatically eligible for the Care segment from birth and qualify for the Mobility segment from the age of 3.

The Care Segment

There are 3 payment rates for the Care Segment:  Lowest Rate, Middle Rate, and Highest Rate.

Lowest Rate

The lowest rate has a weekly payment of £26.90. It is paid if, for a lengthy part of the day, the child requires attention from another person to assist with their bodily process. This rate is also paid if the child is 16 or over, and cannot prepare a main cooked meal for themselves. 

Middle Rate

The middle rate has a weekly payment of £68.10 and is paid if either:

  • For a lengthy part of the day or prolonged periods at night, the child requires attention from another person to assist with their bodily process, or
  • Requires continual overseeing during the day or for someone to be up at night to prevent risk to themselves or others, or
  • Receives kidney dialysis treatment on at least 2 occasions per week.

Highest Rate

The highest rate has a weekly payment of £101.75 and is paid if the child has any of the conditions for the middle rate and, in addition, has a terminal illness. 

The Mobility Segment

The mobility segment comprises two payment rates: lower and higher

Lower Payment Rates

The lower payment rate has a weekly payment rate of £26.90 and is paid if the youngster is aged 5 or more, and in most instances, requires supervision or guidance from someone to move outdoors.

Higher Payment Rates

The higher payment rate has a weekly payment of £71.00 and is paid if the child is aged 3 years or older and has any of the following:

  • Cannot walk outdoors
  • Is deaf and blind or has a critical visual disability
  • Has a critical mental health disability
  • Requires continual overseeing during the day or for someone to be up at night to prevent risk to themselves or others,
  • Walking will lead to health problems

How To Apply

The application consists of 2 parts. If the child is terminally ill, only 1 part requires completion. For other children, the 2nd part must be finished within 6 weeks of submitting the 1st part. Part 1 will ask for personal details and some questions on the condition, while part 2 will thoroughly assess the disability or medical condition.

Making an Application Online

To apply online, you are required to create an account through “myaccount” here. Register with a username/password to create an account and provide the personal details requested. 

Making an Application by Phone and Paper

For phone and paper applications, call Social Security Scotland on this number: 0800 1822222. While on the phone, Social Security Scotland will ask for some details to start the application and send the forms through the post to complete. 

Supporting evidence will also need to be provided. Examples of supporting evidence include:

  • Assessments from social care
  • Medical letters, certificates, or reports
  • Prescription lists of medication taken
  • Test results

It is possible to ask Social Security Scotland to obtain supporting evidence on your behalf.

After the Application

Social Security Scotland may make contact to obtain more details if help was requested in obtaining supporting evidence or to request any information not given at the application stage.

Receiving a Decision

A decision on the claim is known as the notice of determination. Social Security Scotland will write to the parent or guardian, the representative, or the child if aged 16 or over and oversee their payments.

Those children with a terminal condition usually receive the verdict within 7 days. For others, the decision will take longer. 

Disagreeing with the Decision

The letter will provide a clear explanation of how the decision was reached. If you are unhappy with the verdict, it is possible to challenge the decision. Find out more here

Receiving Payments

If the application is successful, payments begin when the 1st part of the online application is submitted or when contact is made by phone to complete the 1st part of the application process. 

The payment date is based on the date of the application, but the remittance is 4 weeks in arrears into the nominated bank account. 

With a terminally ill child, the benefit allowance is made in advance weekly, and payments begin from the time the diagnosis is made by a medical person.   

How Long Are Payments Made For?

The Child Disability benefit allowance is made until the child turns 18. In some cases, payments are made beyond the age of 18. Reasons why payments can extend beyond 16 can be found here.

Supporting Your Disabled Child

In Scotland, disabled children or those with health conditions are eligible for the Child Disability Payment. The benefit is there to cover the additional costs disabled children will face in their everyday lives. Such benefits pave the way for disabled youngsters to lead a more fruitful life.

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