Child Disability Assistance to be extended to age 18 in Scotland
One Parent Families Scotland welcomes the news that the Scottish Government will raise the age limit for Child Disability Assistance (DLA) from 16 to 18.
Social security minister Shirley-Anne Somerville made the announcement in the Scottish Parliament on Monday 2 March. In her statement, the minister highlighted the Scottish Government’s upcoming plans around delivering several benefits which were, until recently, managed by the UK Government.
Child DLA will be the first disability benefit open to new claims, and anyone turning 16 from September 2020 will not have to apply for Personal Independence Payment until they turn 18. This will help provide consistency and security for children and their families for longer as young people transition into adulthood.
- Marion Davis, Head of Policy, One Parent Families Scotland
It was also confirmed that from next year, children who receive the highest care component of Disability Assistance will be able to claim Winter Heating Assistance. It is expected that this £200 lump sum towards heating costs will help 16,000 children and their families.
And in early 2021, an additional payment will be made available for parents and carers looking after more than one disabled child – estimated to affect 1,800 carers in Scotland.
These are all welcome developments which will help ease some of the financial strain faced by single parents and carers whose children have disabilities.
One Parent Families Scotland Head of Policy Marion Davis said:
“We very much welcome that the Scottish Government is using its devolved social security powers to ensure young people continue to get ‘Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children’ up to the age of 18 years.
“A young person turning 16 years of age from September 2020 will not have to do a DWP Personal Independent Payment (PIP) application or assessment.
“We know from the experience of our local advice staff that PIP assessments are riddled with repeated and serious errors and have caused untold anxiety and misery for far too many of the people who rely on the benefit to live.”