The new Child Disability Payment has opened for applications from people living in the Western Isles.
From today (Monday July 26), families of children with a disability or long-term health condition living in three pilot council areas – Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles – who need financial support should apply to the new system.
This is the first application-based disability benefit to be introduced by the Scottish Government and will be administered by Social Security Scotland.
The benefit replaces the UK Government’s Disability Living Allowance for children.
The pilot will be followed by a nationwide roll out in the autumn and is for families applying for the first time for this benefit. Those already in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for children do not need to apply and their cases will be transferred in future.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “Families have been involved throughout the development of Child Disability Payment and it is hugely rewarding to see three years of work on this benefit now delivering for people. Every client can expect to be treated with dignity, fairness and respect throughout the process.
“Parents and carers of a child with a disability or long-term health condition already experience a number of challenges and accessing the financial support that they are entitled to shouldn’t be another one. By including them at every step of the process, we have been able to focus on what suits parents and carers and have designed a system that meets their needs.
“It is fantastic to see the pilot in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles begin for people with new claims. It will allow us to make sure the new disability benefit system is fully ready for Child Disability Payment’s full national rollout this autumn, and ahead of the transfer of existing clients.”
This latest support is being introduced for families applying for disability assistance for the first time. The three area pilot provides a safe and secure introduction of the benefit in relatively small numbers with the opportunity to ensure the new service is meeting the needs of clients before expanding nationally.
Families do not need to make a new application for Child Disability Payment if they are currently in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for children. These families will be contacted directly and their benefit will be transferred automatically to Social Security Scotland in a phased approach from autumn. This means their Disability Living Allowance for children will be replaced by the Scottish Child Disability Payment. Their Child Disability Payment will continue to be made at the same rates and at the same time as their Disability Living Allowance for children.
Child Disability Payment is the first of the three big disability benefits to be introduced by the Scottish Government and the first that needs to be applied for.
To enable people to apply in the way that suits them best, it will be the first disability benefit in the UK that can be applied for online, as well as being available by post, phone, or face to face (Covid restrictions permitting).
To coincide with the introduction of Child Disability Payment, Social Security Scotland has also launched its local delivery service in the three pilot areas. This means that people will be able to get advice and support on all 11 Social Security Scotland administered benefits face-to-face (Covid restrictions permitting) at a location in their local community or via video call. The local delivery service will also be available nationally from autumn.
The Chair of Education, Skills and Children’s Services at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Councillor Paul Steele, said:“The decision by Social Security Scotland to trial the Child Disability Payment in the Western Isles is very much welcome. It is vital that a payment such as this is accessible to those that need it most. The combination of face-to-face, online and over the phone services will ensure that no individual is left behind.
“Thank you to all at Social Security Scotland for their hard work in taking the ambitious project to this stage.”
People can find out more and apply through mygov.scot or by calling 0800 182 2222.