Disability Living Allowance to be replaced in Scotland – applications open for new benefit

As of yesterday, people from all over the country looking to apply for the new Child Disability Payment can do so online, over the phone or by post. Specifically, this benefit payment seeks to assist families financially with the extra costs which arise from looking after a child with a disability. Claimants can apply for Child Disability Payment for their mentally or physically disabled child if they are under 16 years of age. Social Security Scotland will continue making payments until the child reaches 18.

There are two different payment components for claimants of Child Disability Payment: care and mobility.

The former goes towards the costs of day-to-day responsibilities which arise from having a child with a disability, while the latter assists with the mobility and travel costs.

If the child is over three months of age, they will qualify for the care component. If they are over three years old, they will become eligible for the mobility component.

Under the care component, there are three rates of payment: lowest, middle and highest, which are rewarded depending on how much the child’s disability affects the living costs of a household.

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The lowest rate is made up of a weekly payment of £23.70, while the middle rate is £60 a week for claimants.

As of today, the highest weekly rate is £89.60 but is only awarded if the child “needs frequent attention” during the day or if they are terminally ill.

Unlike other benefit payments which are managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this new scheme is being administered by the Scottish Government via Social Security Scotland.

This latest benefit scheme is the first of three new payments being introduced by the devolved Government in Holyrood, specifically to replace DLA.

A similar Adult Disability Payment benefit scheme is set to be introduced in the near future but remains in its consultation period.

The introduction of the Child Disability Payment comes after a successful pilot rollout in places such as Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and the Western Isles.

Anyone currently receiving Disability Living Allowance does not need to reapply as they will be rolled onto the Child Disability Payment scheme.

Currently, there are around 52,000 current DLA cases which are being automatically transferred in phases from the DWP to Social Security Scotland.

The Scottish Government’s social security department has confirmed it hopes to complete this transaction in its entirety by spring 2023.

According to the Government, this transfer has started with any cases of those aged 16 or over in receipt of Disability Living Allowance

Any children and teenagers with a terminal illness have been selected first to be transferred over to the Child Disability scheme.

Ben Macpherson, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Social Security, said: “This is a significant milestone in the introduction of our new social security system.

“Families who find themselves in need of support will be able to access this help in a way that suits them best.

“Those who currently receive Disability Living Allowance for children from the DWP will also be transferred to Social Security Scotland.

“They will be told when this is happening and will find their payments transferred safely and securely within the next 18 months. Payments will be made at the same rate and there will be no break in entitlement.

“In the months and years ahead thousands of families will benefit from our simplified and much less stressful system, which will treat everyone with dignity, fairness and respect.”

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