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Child Disability Payment

Your rights to financial support if you have a child under 16 who is disabled.

We know that many deaf people and families of deaf children don't consider deafness to be a disability. However, even if you don't consider your deaf child to be disabled, they may still be eligible for disability benefits such as Child Disability Payment.

Social Security Scotland has published a British Sign Language (BSL) translation of their Child Disability Payment factsheet.

What you need to know

  • Child Disability Payment has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) across Scotland and is provided by Social Security Scotland.
  • To claim Child Disability Payment your child must live in Scotland or another qualifying country. Citizen's Advice Scotland have more information about the residence and immigration rules that apply.
  • If you already receive DLA for your child, you can’t claim Child Disability Payment but you will be automatically transferred to the new benefit at some point in the near future.
  • You can apply for Child Disability Payment by going to the Scottish Government website or by calling Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) to request a paper form or book a face to face appointment. If you're a British Sign Language (BSL) user, use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.
  • You can contact our free Helpline by phone, text (SMS), SignVideo (video call with a BSL interpreter), contact form or live chat for additional support filling in the form. If English isn't your first language, we can call you back with an interpreter in your prefered language for free.
  • If Social Security Scotland do not award you Child Disability Payment or you feel you have been awarded the wrong amount, you can ask them to look at your application again by calling Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 or by completing a paper re-determinations form.

What is Child Disability Payment?

Child Disability Payment is very similar to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It is a disability benefit for children under 16 who are deaf or disabled. Child Disability Payment will help towards some of the extra costs of raising a child who needs more looking after than another child of the same age without disabilities. It is not means-tested or taxable, and there are no rules about what you can spend the money on.

There are two parts to Child Disability Payment – the care component and the mobility component. They are paid at the same rates as DLA.

You can claim the care component if your child needs more help or supervision compared with a child of the same age without disabilities. This can include help with things like hearing, speech, lip-reading, making themselves understood and extra help at school. Extra supervision they may need to keep them safe, for example with young children to stop them putting their hearing technology in their mouth, is also relevant.

You can claim the mobility component if your child is at least five years old and needs more supervision when walking outdoors than a child of the same age without disabilities. If they have additional needs that cause physical problems with walking you can claim from age three.

To claim Child Disability Payment your child must live in Scotland or another qualifying country. Citizen's Advice Scotland have more information about the residence and immigration rules that apply.

When can I claim Child Disability Payment for my child?

Child Disability Payment was rolled out across the whole of Scotland on 22 November 2021.

You can apply for Child Disability Payment for your deaf child at any time before they turn 16.

What if my child attends a residential school?

If your child attends a residential school, you can still claim Child Disability Payment. However, if their accommodation is publicly funded and they spend 28 full days (midnight to midnight) in a row at school, payment of the care component of your award will be stopped. Contact has more information about Child Disability Payment and stays away from home.

What if my child already gets DLA?

If you already get DLA for your child, you cannot currently claim Child Disability Payment. At some point in the future your claim will be automatically transferred to the new benefit. Payments will not be affected, and you will receive the same rates you previously received with DLA. 

Older children will be transferred first, and you will be contacted by Social Security Scotland when you child has been selected for transfer.

If you receive renewal forms for DLA before you are transferred, you should complete them and return them to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

How do I apply for Child Disability Payment?

You can make a new claim online by going to the apply page on the Scottish Government website and applying on myaccount, which lets you save your progress to come back to when it suits you. Or you can phone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 to request a paper form and a prepaid return envelope or book an appointment for someone from Social Security Scotland to help you fill in the form face to face. If you're a British Sign Language user, use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.

If English isn’t your first language, you can contact Social Security Scotland to apply over the phone with an interpreter or a paper application form. Interpreters and translated forms are available in over 100 different languages.

Additional help

If you need help accessing or filling in the application form you can contact the free Social Security Scotland Local Delivery service. A specially trained client support adviser can answer any questions you have in a meeting at your home, in your local community, over the phone or a video call.

Alternatively, if you have questions about how to fill in the form for your deaf child you can contact our free Helpline by phone, text (SMS), SignVideo (video call with a BSL interpreter), contact form or live chat. If English isn't your first language, we can call you back with an interpreter in your preferred language for free.

Filling in the application form

The application is in two parts and should be completed within six weeks of each other. If you don’t think you’ll be able do this, contact Social Security Scotland.

Include supporting information in your application and keep copies of all the evidence you send.

Your claim will be assessed based on the information you provide on the claim form and any additional information you submit in support of your claim. It may be helpful for you to keep a diary for two or three days to show what a ‘typical day’ is like for you and your deaf child. Include this in your application.

Try to record each time you give your child more attention and supervision because of their deafness. This is what’s important for Social Security Scotland when deciding whether your child is awarded Child Disability Payment.

Some examples of extra attention or supervision are:

  • If you child is very young or a baby, making sure they don’t put parts of their hearing technology in their mouth.
  • Cleaning, refitting, and looking after the hearing technology your child uses.
  • Attracting your child’s attention before speaking to them.
  • Repeating things because they haven’t heard you.
  • Teachers needing to repeat what other children have said in class.
  • Additional help with learning to make sure they don’t fall behind their peers.
  • Being within touching distance of them when outside because they can’t hear road traffic.

What supporting information should I include?

Including supporting information in your application is very important, as it helps you show Social Security Scotland how your child’s deafness affects them and the additional support they need. If your child has additional needs, long-term conditions or disabilities in addition to their deafness, include their care and mobility needs in the same application form.

To provide Social Security Scotland with an accurate picture of you and your child’s lived experience, you should include:

  • medical reports or letters of identification, such as hearing test results, audiograms, ABRs, discharge letters from hospitals, cochlear implant mapping reports, etc.
  • current symptoms, their severity and the effect they have 
  • a daily diary of the additional care and attention your child required because of their deafness and/or their additional needs
  • test results or certificates, care or treatment plans, and therapies or adaptations
  • social care assessments or social work assessments
  • educational support plans or reports or letters from the child’s school
  • the supporting information form filled out by someone who knows or cares for your child.

Supporting information needs to be submitted within 28 days of your application and can be uploaded online and sent in the post (or a mixture of the two). If you’re sending important documents via post, you can send photocopies.

If you’re struggling to find or collect any of these pieces of supporting information, Social Security Scotland can ask relevant professionals or organisations for information to support your application on your behalf.

For more information about Child Disability Payment, see the Scottish Government website.

Assessment

After you have submitted your application, Social Security Scotland may contact you with some extra questions and to get additional supporting information to help them make their decision. This may be over the phone and any answers you give will be used to assess your claim. If you’re busy or don’t have the information they want with you, you can ask them to call you back.

Child Disability Payment decision

Determination (decision)

When applying for benefits in Scotland, the decision to award you Child Disability Payment or not is called a determination.

You should receive a decision from Social Security Scotland six to eight weeks after you have submitted your form and they have all the information they need. If your application has been successful, your decision letter will include the rate you've been awarded and when Social Security Scotland will review it.

If you're happy with the amount you've been awarded, your Child Disability Payments should start immediately.

If you’re unhappy with your decision, you can ask for a re-determination.

Challenging a decision

What is a re-determination?

Re-determination is the process Social Security Scotland uses to review a benefits decision. A different team will look at the decision to refuse an application or the amount awarded and will make a new determination. 

The letter you received will include a decision report. The decision report is where Social Security Scotland explain their decision and acts as a record of your answers to the questions in the application form and the supporting information you provided. Read it carefully. If you ask for a re-determination, you should point out anything in your decision report that is wrong or inaccurate.

You have 42 days to submit your re-determination form. If you miss the 42-day time limit, you can still ask for a re-determination but you will have to explain why your request is late and it might not be accepted.

Social Security Scotland have 56 days to complete the re-determination. 

Appealing a Child Disability Payment decision

If you’re unhappy with your re-determination decision you have 31 days from the decision to appeal. If you miss this, you can still appeal but you must explain why your request is late and your appeal may not be accepted. 

If Social Security Scotland have taken longer than 56 days to complete a re-determination you can also ask for an appeal.

Your appeal is decided by the First-tier Tribunal, which is independent of Social Security Scotland. You can choose whether to attend the Tribunal in person, have a remote hearing by phone or video call, or have the appeal decided on the papers. If you have a hearing, you will be asked questions about your child. Your child will not attend or be asked any questions.

What is a review?

Social Security Scotland may choose to review your current Child Disability Payment or DLA award, to make sure you are being paid the right amount. A review is not the same as a re-determination.

They will ask you to provide more information about the impact of your child’s disability and may request updated supporting information. They may decide to stop your Child Disability Payments or change the amount you have been awarded. You can apply for a re-determination of a review decision.