Financial help for children with a disability or long-term illness
Last updated: 06/04/2023
Child Disability Payment and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are given for children who have a disability or illness that affects their ability to participate in everyday life. Child Disability Payment has replaced DLA for children in Scotland.
Child Disability Payment
Child Disability Payment is a new benefit from the Scottish Government. It is given to help with the extra costs of caring for a child, or young person up to the age of 18, with a disability or long-term ill-heath condition. It replaced DLA on 22 November 2021 for children living in Scotland.
Transferring children from DLA to Child Disability Payment
Children already getting DLA are being transferred to Child Disability Payment. Children aged 16 and 17 and those with a terminal illness are being transferred first.
If your child is getting DLA you do not need to do anything. You will receive a letter telling you when your child is going to be transferred and another when it is completed. Your child will not be reassessed for the transfer. You will continue to get DLA for your child until the transfer is complete. You can not choose to continue getting DLA for your child but you will receive the same amount of money.
Can I get Child Disability Payment for my child?
Your child must meet the following conditions;-
- be living in Scotland and
- be under 16 when you apply (but can continue to receive it until they are 18)
- need help with their personal care because of their physical or mental disability or illness and/or
- need help when moving around because of their physical or mental disability or illness and
- have had their disability or illness for 3 months before you apply and be expected to have it for at least 6 months after.
Your child does not need to have a diagnosis, but you may have to provide evidence of how their disability or health condition affects them.
How much is Child Disability Payment?
The amount you will get for your child depends on how much help they need.
There are 2 amounts called components. The care component is paid for the day to day help your child needs with things like dressing, washing and eating. Your child can get this from 3 months old. The mobility component is to help with the extra help your child needs to physically get around and to stay safe when they are moving around. A child can get the mobility component from age 3.
The care component has 3 rates and the mobility component has 2 rates.
- High rate £101.75
- Middle rate £68.10
- Low rate £26.90
- High rate £71.00
- Low rate £26.90
Children with life limiting conditions
If your child has a progressive, terminal illness you will automatically get the highest rates of both the care and mobility components. You may get the care component from when your child is born and the mobility component from when they are 3 years old.
How is it paid?
Child Disability Payment is paid into your bank account every 4 weeks in arrears. If you applied under the special rules you will get it weekly in advance.
The amount of Child Disability Payment you receive is not affected by your income, savings or assets. It will not reduce any other benefits you get but you may get an increase in some benefits or be able to claim extra help.
More information can be found in our Disability sickness and care benefits page.
How do I apply?
You can apply for Child Disability Payment online or by calling Social Security Scotland.
First you will need to answer some general questions about your child.
You will then complete a form asking more specific questions about your child’s disability or illness. You will be asked how it affects their everyday life and what support they need. This can be difficult and take a bit of time. It is important to be thorough as a decision maker will use this information to decide if and how much Child Disability Payment you will get.
You have 6 weeks to answer all the question from the time you completed the first part.
How to apply if your child has a life limiting medical condition
If your child has a terminal illness should send a BASRiS form with the application. The BASRiS form gives details of your child’s medical condition. You can get this form from your child’s doctor or medical professional. They can also help you fil it in.
Apply by phone and on a paper form
If you apply by phone you will be asked the general questions when you call. You will then be sent a paper form to complete and return.
You can ask a friend, family member, welfare rights officer, disability service or a medical professional to help you complete the form.
Social Security Scotland can also arrange for some one from a local delivery service to help you complete the form. This can be done in person, by phone, video or in your own home.
Contact your local council for an appointment with a welfare rights officer.
Call Social Security Scotland to apply or arrange an appointment for someone to help you complete the application form.
- Social Security Scotland: 0800 182 2222
If you apply online you will need to set up an account before you complete a questionnaire about your child’s condition. You do not have to answer all the questions at once. Your answers will be saved and you can go back to them later.
You will have to complete the online application yourself if someone is not able to be with you when you fill it in. If you think you would like help to complete the application it may be better phoning for a paper form instead.
What happens after I have completed the application?
You will receive regular updates on how your application is progressing. You may also be asked for further information about your child’s needs if what you have already said does not give a full picture. Social Security Scotland may ask for your permission to contact someone who knows your child like a teacher or a doctor. This information is used to support your application and not to to prove what you have said.
How long does the award last?
Awards of Child Disability Payment do not have an end date but you may be contacted from time to time for a reassessment. This will not be as in depth as the initial application. If your child has a condition that is not expected to improve there will not be a reassessment for at least 5 years.
If, when a reassessment is carried out, you are told that Child Disability Payment will stop or reduce you can ask for a redetermination and then appeal. You will continue to receive Child Disability Payment as usual during this process.
If there is any change in your child’s disability or illness you need to report this to Social Security Scotland by phone or online.
What if I do not agree with the decision?
If you are unhappy with the award decision you can ask for a ‘redetermination’ saying why you think the decision is wrong and giving any further evidence, you have to support this. You have 6 weeks from when you receive the decision to ask Social Security Scotland for a redetermination. Social Security Scotland will get back to you within 8 weeks of you asking.
If you are unhappy with the result of the redetermination you can appeal. Appeals can be made to Social Security Scotland.
- By post – fill out the form that was sent with your decision letter and return to the address given.
- By phone – call Social Security Scotland. Take a note of the date, time and who you speak to.
Social Security Scotland
Telephone: 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
In Scotland DLA for children has been replaced by Child Disability Payment.
You can no longer make a new claim for DLA but can apply for Child Disability Payment instead.
Children already getting DLA will continue to receive it until they are transferred to Child Disability Payment next year.
The information here is for families already getting DLA for their child.
DLA is a benefit given to help pay the extra costs of caring for a child with a disability or long term illness. It is not given because of a diagnosis of a specific illness or disability but because of the extra care, support and supervision your child needs.
Your child must have been affected by the condition for 3 months before you claimed DLA and have been expected to have the same condition for at least a further 6 months.
How much is it?
How much DLA you get is based on the answers you gave to the questions on the DLA1 form.
There are two sets of questions. Your child will be awarded points depending on the answers given.
- The care component of DLA is about the help your child needs with day to day activities such as dressing, eating and washing. The answers to these questions are used to decide if your child should get the care component.
- The mobility component of DLA is about your child’s ability to move around. The answers to these questions are used to decide if your child should get the mobility component.
1.The care component
The care component is given if your child needs support or assistance with day to day activities. Your child may need help to wash, dress or communicate with others. They may need to be supported and supervised in situations that could cause them, or others, distress or harm. To qualify for the care component, it must be demonstrated that your child needs considerably more care than a child, of the same age, without that condition.
There are three rates for the care component: high, middle and low.
- High rate £101.75
- Middle rate £68.10
- Low rate £26.90
2.The mobility component
The mobility component is given if your child has physical difficulty getting around or needs to be supervised during a journey because they are not able to do it alone or because going alone would put them at risk. Suitable artificial aids are taken into account.
There are two rates for the mobility component: high and low.
- High rate £71.00
- Low rate £26.90
Children are not entitled to the mobility component until they are 2 years and 9 months old. As they still need to have passed the three months qualifying period after this age the mobility component cannot be awarded for a child under 3 years old.
Disability Living Allowance for children with life-limiting conditions
If your child’s medical condition becomes terminal you should report this to DWP. You may then receive the high rate care component if you are not already getting it.
What to do if you don’t agree with the decision on your child’s Disability Living Allowance?
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your child’s disability living allowance application you can ask for it to be looked at again and then, if you are still not happy, you can appeal.
We recommend that you seek advice from an expert to help complete the claim.
Child Winter Heating Assistance
This is a new benefit from the Scottish Government. It is £235.70 to help with the cost of heating the homes of severely disabled children in Scotland.
You do not need to apply for this benefit as it will be paid automatically to children who qualify.