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Child Disability Payment

This advice applies to Scotland

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What is Child Disability Payment

Child Disability Payment is a benefit for disabled children and young people who live in Scotland. It’s a payment to help with the extra care and mobility costs of having a disability or health condition.

It’s paid by Social Security Scotland.

Child Disability Payment is gradually replacing the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit called Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children and young people who live in Scotland.

You can’t get Child Disability Payment for a child if you already get child DLA for them. The rates for both benefits are the same.

If you get child Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

If you get DLA for a child, you’ll continue to get it and can’t apply for Child Disability Payment for them.

You’ll be transferred from DLA to Child Disability Payment in the future. Social Security Scotland will contact you to tell you when that will happen. You won’t have to re-apply, and the rate and amount of payment you get will be the same.

Read more about DLA for children.

Find out more about transferring from DLA to Child Disability Payment on mygov.scot.

Pilot areas

Child Disability Payment is being introduced in stages in Scotland, depending on where you live.

From 26 July 2021, you can apply for Child Disability Payment if you live in:

  • Dundee City
  • Perth and Kinross
  • the Western Isles.

You can check if you live in one of the pilot areas using the mygov.scot postcode checker.

If you get Child Disability Payment during the pilot period, you’ll continue to get it if you move to another part of Scotland.

People in the rest of Scotland can apply for Child Disability Payment from 22 November 2021. Until then, you can still apply for DLA.

Find out more about DLA for children.

How much is Child Disability Payment

Child Disability Payment is made up of 2 parts called components – a care component and a mobility component. Each component is paid at a different rate.

You can get 1 or both components, depending on your child’s care or mobility needs. You only need to make 1 application.

Care component Weekly rate
Lowest rate £23.70
Middle rate £60.00
Highest rate £89.60
Mobility component Weekly rate
Lower rate £23.70
Higher rate £62.55

Who can get Child Disability Payment

To get Child Disability Payment a child must:

  • live in one of the pilot areas of Scotland – Dundee City, Perth and Kinross or the Western Isles
  • be under 16 at the time of the application
  • have a disability or health condition that has lasted for at least 13 weeks and is expected to continue for the next 26 weeks, unless they're terminally ill
  • meet some residence and immigration rules.

You can apply for a child if you’re their parent or are the person responsible for them, for example, you might be their grandparent, adult sibling or kinship carer.

You can’t get Child Disability Payment for a child who gets:

  • DLA for children
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment.

What age must a child be

A child must be under 16 when you apply for Child Disability Payment for them. If they’re 16 or over, they might be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

Find out more about PIP

If a child gets Child Disability Payment before they’re 16, they’ll continue to get it until they’re 18, as long as they still meet the conditions for it.

There are also different age rules for different parts of the payment.

The care component

The care component is paid if a child needs increased attention, supervision or watching over.

You can get the care component for a child if they’re aged 3 months or over. If a child is terminally ill, you can apply for them from birth.

You can get 1 of 3 rates of care component:

Lowest  - £23.70

Middle  -  £60.00

Highest  - £89.60

The rate that’s paid will depend on the level of care and supervision a child needs because they’re disabled or have a health condition.

A child must need a lot more help or supervision than would be usual for someone their age. For example, all babies and infants need a lot of care but you could get the care component if your child needs a lot more help and supervision than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability or health condition. This rule doesn’t apply if a child is terminally ill or if they’re 16 or over.

To get the care component, a child must:

  • meet the conditions for at least 13 weeks and
  • be likely to continue meeting the conditions for the next 26 weeks – unless they’re terminally ill

Who can get the lowest rate of the care component

A child might get the lowest rate of £23.70 if either of the following applies:

  • they need attention with their bodily functions for a significant portion of the day - this can be once or several times during the day
  • they’re 16 years or over and can’t make a cooked main meal if provided with the ingredients because of a mental or physical disability.

Bodily functions are activities such as breathing, hearing, seeing, eating, drinking, moving around indoors, sitting, sleeping, getting in and out of bed or a chair, washing, going to the toilet, communicating, getting dressed and undressed.

Attention means close and personal care, like helping someone use the toilet or giving medications.

The ability to cook a main meal, isn’t a test of cooking ability. It’s a way of assessing if a young person can perform a complex activity and complete it safely.

Who can get the middle rate of the care component

 A child might get the middle rate of £60.00 if 1 of the following applies: 

Who can get the highest rate of the care component 

A child might get the highest rate of £89.60 if any of the following applies: 

Daytime conditions 

A child meets a daytime condition if, as a result of a mental or physical disability, they need: 

  • frequent attention throughout the day in connection with their bodily functions, or
  • continual supervision throughout the day to avoid substantial danger to themselves or other people. 

Night-time conditions 

A child meets a night-time condition if, as a result of a mental or physical disability, they need: 

  • prolonged or repeated attention from another person throughout the night in connection with their bodily functions, or
  • watching over by another person for a prolonged period or at frequent intervals during the night to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others. 

The mobility component

The mobility component is paid if a child is disabled or has a health condition and this affects their ability to move around outdoors. 

They might have physical problems walking or need extra guidance or supervision.

You can get 1 of 2 rates of mobility component:

Lower  - £23.70

Higher - £62.55

A child must:

  • meet the conditions for at least 13 weeks and
  • be likely to continue meeting the conditions for the next 26 weeks – unless they’re terminally ill 

Who can get the lower rate of the mobility component

 A child might qualify for the lower rate of £23.70 if they’re all of the following: 

  • 5 years or older
  • able to walk
  • so severely disabled, either physically or mentally, that they need guidance or supervision from another person most of the time when moving around outdoors in an unfamiliar place. 

If a child is under 16, the guidance or supervision they need must be much more than would normally be expected for someone of a similar age without a disability.

For example, a young deaf child might need someone to stay within touching distance whereas a hearing child of the same age wouldn’t. 

If a child can’t move around outdoors because of fear or anxiety caused by a mental health condition, they might be able to get the lower rate of the mobility component. 

Who can get the higher rate of the mobility component 

A child might be eligible for the higher rate of £62.55 if they’re 3 years or over and any of the following applies: 

  • they’re unable or virtually unable to walk outdoors
  • their health would get much worse from the effort required to walk
  • they have no legs or feet, even if they use artificial limbs or other aids to walk
  • they have a severe visual impairment
  • they’re both blind and deaf
  • they have a severe mental impairment with severe behavioural difficulties and qualify for the highest rate of the care component, or
  • they’re terminally ill

Getting an accessible car or other vehicle from the Accessible Vehicle and Equipment (AVE) Scheme

If you get the higher rate of the mobility component of Child Disability Payment, you can get an accessible car or other vehicle through the Accessible Vehicle and Equipment (AVE) Scheme.

If a child is terminally ill

There’s a quicker process for claiming Child Disability Payment for a child who is terminally ill. This is known as applying under the special rules.

You should apply straight away. It doesn’t matter how long your child has been ill for.

A terminally ill child can get:

  • the highest rate of the care component - £89.60 a week, and
  • the higher rate of the mobility component (if they’re 3 years or over) - £62.55 a week.

To apply you need to:

  • complete a short application form
  • ask your child's doctor or nurse for a Benefits Assessment under the Special Rules in Scotland (BASRiS) Form. This form describes your child's condition and treatments. You don't need to pay for it. You can also send a DS1500 report if you have one in connection with a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.

Once you apply, you’ll receive a decision within a few days.

Find out more about how to apply for Child Disability Payment if a child is terminally ill. 

Get advice and help to apply from an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

If a child gets renal dialysis 

There are special rules for children who get renal dialysis.

If a child is at least 3 months old and meets the other conditions for Child Disability Payment, you’ll get the care component if they get renal dialysis at least twice a week and need another person to be with them.

If they get renal dialysis:

  • either during the day or at night, they’ll get the middle rate of the care component - £60.00 a week
  • both during the day and at night, they’ll get the highest rate care of the component  - £89.60 a week

They might also get the highest rate of the care component if they get dialysis and have other non-dialysis care needs. For example, if they get dialysis at night and have other non-dialysis care needs during the day.

They don’t need to meet the other conditions for the care component if they’re getting renal dialysis.

A child must have been getting the dialysis treatment for 13 weeks and be likely to continue getting it for 26 weeks.

Rules about living in Scotland

To get Child Disability Payment, a child must usually be all of the following:

  • living in one of the pilot areas of Scotland - Dundee City, Perth and Kinross or the Western Isles
  • habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • not subject to immigration control - find out more about accessing benefits and services if you're subject to immigration control
  • present in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for a set number of weeks.

There are different rules for some nationals of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Get advice if you’re not sure if you can get Child Disability Payment because of residence issues.

Habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

 To be considered habitually resident means you: 

  • have lived in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for at least 1 to 3 months and
  • plan to stay for a reasonable, although not necessarily permanent, length of time. 

You can only be habitually resident in one place at a time.

Check how to prove that you're habitually resident.

Get advice if you’re not sure if you can get Child Disability Payment because of residence issues.

Present in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands 

You must be present in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands when you make the application for Child Disability Payment. These places form the Common Travel Area.

Your child must also have lived in the Common Travel Area for a minimum amount of time. This is known as the 'past presence test'.

How long your child needs to have lived in the Common Travel Area depends on their age.

If your child is under 6 months old, they must have been present in the Common Travel Area for at least 13 weeks (or periods that add up to 13 weeks).

If your child is 6 months or older, they must have been present in the Common Travel Area for at least 26 weeks (or periods that add up to 26 weeks) of the 52 weeks before the application for Child Disability Payment is made.

Your child won’t have to meet the 'past presence' test if:

  • they’re terminally ill
  • you or they have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection under the immigration rules.

Temporary absence 

You can still count as present during a temporary absence from the Common Travel Area. 

A temporary absence is one that isn’t expected to last more than 52 weeks. 

If your child is temporarily absent from the Common Travel Area for any reason, they’ll remain eligible for Child Disability Payment for the first 13 weeks of the absence. 

They’ll also remain entitled to Child Disability Payment for the first 26 weeks of any absence if they’re going abroad to receive medical treatment for a health condition that they had before they left the Common Travel Area. 

Members of the armed forces or civil servants living abroad 

A child will be considered to meet the residence and presence rules if the only reason they’re absent from the Common Travel Area is that they live with a family member who is living abroad because they are a: 

  • serving member of the UK armed forces
  • civil servant. 

If a child hasn’t lived in the Common Travel Area for long enough 

A child might be eligible for Child Disability Payment if they’re dependent on a parent who has: 

  • worked and paid national insurance in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland for 6 months in the last year
  • claimed benefits in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland for 6 months in the last year.

If a child doesn’t meet the rules about being present in the Common Travel Area when you apply for Child Disability Payment but they will do within 3 months of the application, they’ll be entitled to Child Disability Payment from the date they meet the rules.

If a child is a national of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland 

If you’re from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and have settled status or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can apply for Child Disability Payment. The countries in the EU are listed on the UK government website

If you arrived in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and have settled or pre-settled status, you’ll be in a 'protected' group. This means that the residence and presence rules for Child Disability Payment are different and you: 

  • must be habitually resident in the UK
  • won’t have to meet the 'past presence' test.

If you arrived in the UK on or after 1 January 2021, and have settled or pre-settled status, the same residence and presence rules apply to you as to all other applicants. 

If you haven’t got pre-settled or settled status you’re usually subject to immigration control and so won’t be able to apply for Child Disability Payment.

The rules about residence and presence for nationals of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are complicated.

Get advice if you’re not sure if you can get Child Disability Payment because of residence issues.

If you're from Afghanistan

You don't need to meet the 'habitual residence' test or the 'past presence' test if you have leave to enter or remain in the UK under:

  • the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy
  • the ex gratia scheme for locally employed staff in Afghanistan
  • the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

Get advice if you’re not sure if you can get Child Disability Payment because of residence issues.

How to apply

You can apply:

  • online – by completing an application form at mygov.scot
  • by phone– by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222. Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. 
  • by post – you can phone to ask for a paper form with a pre-paid envelope
  • face to face- an adviser from Social Security Scotland's local delivery service can help you apply. Phone 0800 182 2222 to make an appointment.

If you're a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.

Completing the application form

There are 2 parts to the main Child Disability Payment application form. You start the application by completing part 1. You then have 42 days (6 weeks) to complete part 2.

You should try to complete part 1 as soon as you can because Child Disability Payment can be paid from that date. 

If you're going to have difficulty completing the application within the 6-week deadline, you should tell Social Security Scotland. If you have a good reason for not meeting the deadline, you might be able to get more time.

If a child is terminally ill

There’s a different and quicker process for claiming Child Disability Payment if a child is terminally ill

Find out more about how to apply for Child Disability Payment on the mygov.scot website.

Get advice and help to apply from an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

Help from the Independent Advocacy Service

If you’re disabled of have a health condition, you can also get help from the Independent Advocacy Service. They can help you express your views, get information you need and help you make decisions.

You can ask for an advocate by contacting Social Security Scotland.

How are decisions made

Social Security Scotland will make a decision about your application using existing supporting information only and not through face to face assessments or consultations. 

Examples of supporting information include:

  • a social care needs assessment
  • a report from an educational psychologist
  • information from a parent.

Find out more about supporting information for Child Disability Payment on the mygov.scot website.

Getting a decision 

Once you’ve applied, you’ll receive updates on the progress of your claim.

A decision will be sent to you by post. A decision is called a determination.

If you’ve applied for a terminally ill child, you should receive a decision within a few days.

A decision about all other applications should be received within 42 working days (6 weeks).

If your application is successful, the money will be paid into your bank, building society or credit union account.

The decision letter will also tell you when your award of Child Disability Payment will be reviewed.

If Social Security Scotland decide that you’re not entitled to Child Disability Payment, they’ll send you a letter explaining why.

If you disagree with this decision you can ask for it to be looked at again

How long will Child Disability Payment be paid

A child can continue to get Child Disability Payment until their 18th birthday, as long as they still meet the conditions for it.

The award letter from Social Security Scotland will give a review date. At the review date, Social Security Scotland will check to see if your child is still entitled to Child Disability Payment.

Reviews

Review dates will be set and based on when a child or young person’s condition is likely to change.

A review can take place between 2 and 10 years after the decision about Child Disability Payment was made.

If a child’s condition is unlikely to change, the review will take place 5 to 10 years after the first decision.

Social Security Scotland will contact you 1 month before the review date. Payments will continue during a review.

They will ask if there have been any changes to your child’s condition since they made the first decision about Child Disability Payment.

Social Security Scotland will make a new decision based on the information you give them and will tell you what the new award will be and any new review date. If you don’t agree with the review decision, you can ask for it to be looked at again.

If a child is terminally ill, they won’t have their Child Disability Payment reviewed.

A review can also take place if there is a change of circumstances that might affect the child’s eligibility for Child Disability Payment, for example, their condition has improved or got worse. Find out more about how a change of circumstances can affect Child Disability Payment

Find out more about Child Disability Payment reviews on mygov.scot

Asking for a decision to be looked at again

If you don’t agree with the decision about your Child Disability Payment application, you can ask Social Security Scotland to look at it again. This is called asking for a re-determination.

Find out more about challenging a Social Security Scotland decision.

When is Child Disability Payment paid

Child Disability Payment will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears into your bank account, building society or credit union account.

If your application was made under the special rules for terminal illness, payment will be made every week in advance.

You can choose what to spend the money on, Social Security Scotland won’t ask for receipts.

How Child Disability Payment affects tax, earnings and other benefits

Child Disability Payment isn’t means tested so it doesn’t matter how much you earn or how much money you have in savings.

You don’t pay tax on Child Disability Payment.

Child Disability Payment doesn’t reduce your other benefits or tax credits.

You might be able to get other benefits and help because you get Child Disability Payment.

If there’s a change of circumstances

You should tell Social Security Scotland if there is a change of circumstances. Find out more about how a change of circumstances can affect Child Disability Payment.

When a child turns 16

You must apply for Child Disability Payment before a child turns 16.

A young person who gets Child Disability Payment can continue to get it until they're 18, so long as they still meet the conditions for getting it.

When they turn 16 they can choose to have Child Disability Payment paid directly to them. You can continue to get it for them if they still need someone to manage their affairs.

When a child turns 18 

Child Disability Payment can be paid until a child is 18. They'll get a letter from Social Security Scotland shortly before their 18th birthday about moving from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment.

Adult Disability Payment is replacing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people aged over 18 in Scotland. It will be available from spring 2022.

Get advice

You can get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau or phone the Money Talk Team on 0800 085 7145.

Contact Social Security Scotland

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