Financial help for children with a disability or long-term illness
Last updated: 25/11/2021
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 Disability Living Allowance 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 Disability Living Allowance on 22 November 2021 for children living in Scotland.
The process to transfer children already getting Disability Living Allowance to Child Disability Payment has begun. Children aged 16 and 17 and those with a terminal illness will be transferred first. Other children will be transferred from spring 2022.
If your child is getting Disability Living Allowance 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. You will receive the same amount of money and your child will not be reassessed.
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 to help with the day to day help your child needs with things like dressing, washing and eating. Your child can get this from birth. 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.
- High rate £89.60
- Middle rate £60.00
- Low rate £23.70
- High rate £62.55
- Low rate £23.70
If your child has a progressive illness that the doctors expect will end their life you may be able to get Child Disability Payment under special rules and will automatically get the highest rates of both the care and mobility components.
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.
You will need to register and answer some general questions about your child. You will then be asked more specific questions about your child’s disability or illness, how it affects their everyday life and what support they need. This can be difficult and take a bit of time but 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. Social Security Scotland, a welfare rights officer, a disability service or a medical professional will be able to help you with this. Contact your local council for an appointment with a welfare rights officer.
You do not have to answer all the questions at once. Your answers will be saved and you can go back to them later if you are applying online. You have 6 weeks to answer all the question from the time you completed the first part.
Applications under special rules, for a child with a terminal illness are done on a paper form. Your child’s doctor will be able to give you this form and help you complete it.
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.
- post – by filling out the form that was sent with your decision letter
- phone – by phoning Social Security Scotland. Take a note of the date, time and who you speak to
Social Security Scotland
PO Box 10301
Phone: 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
Disability Living Allowance
In Scotland Disability Living Allowance was replaced by Child Disability Payment on 22 November 2021. You can no longer make a new claim for DLA but can apply for Child Disability Payment instead. Children already getting Disability Living Allowance will continue to receive it until they are transferred to Child Disability Payment next year.
The information here is for families already getting Disability Living Allowance for their child.
Disability Living Allowance 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 suffered from the condition for 3 months before you claimed Disability Living Allowance and have been expected to have the same condition for at least a further 6 months.
How much will I get for my child?
How much Disability Living Allowance 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 Disability Living Allowance 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 Disability Living Allowance 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.
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.
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.
You may be awarded only one component for your child or both.
Is there Disability Living Allowance for children with life-limiting conditions?
If your child has a life-limiting condition you may be able to claim disability living allowance under ‘special rules’. Form DS1500 will be filled in by your child’s doctor, stating that they are not expected to survive beyond six months, and returned along with the DLA1 form. Your child still needs to meet the qualifying conditions for the mobility component but not for the care component which will automatically be awarded at the high rate.
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.
How to apply for Disability Living Allowance for your child
You can apply by completing form DLA1. You can call the DLA helpline and ask for the form to be sent to you or download it from the GOV.UK website then complete and return it to the address given on the form.
If you ask for the form from the DLA helpline any disability living allowance will be back-dated to the date you called but if you download the form, disability living allowance is only back-dated to date the completed form is received at the return address.
Child Winter Heating Assistance
This is a new benefit from the Scottish Government. It is £200 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.
For more information visit: https://www.mygov.scot/child-winter-heating-assistance