A new benefit payment made to children with disabilities is “already making a difference” to families, with some £3.25 million paid out since its launch.
The Scottish Government estimated that as of March 31 2022 a total of 3,050 children and young people were in receipt of the Child Disability Payment.
The payment, which provides support for the extra costs that a disabled child might have, as launched in July last year – but was initially only available on a pilot basis in three council areas.
It was rolled out across the rest of Scotland in November 2021, with social security minister Ben Macpherson saying it was “already making a difference to the lives of thousands of children and young people, and their families”.
Almost three quarters (74%) of applications for the new benefit have been made online, with the minster stating: “Families who find themselves in need of support can access this help in a way that suits them best.
“For the first time anywhere in the UK, we have an online application facility for applying for our disability benefits, and the high number of people choosing to use this demonstrates that we have been responsive to the way people want to access social security.”
Those receiving payments include 555 people who had a previously been receiving Disability Living Allowance for their children from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who have now transferred on to the new benefit.”
And Mr Macpherson said: “We are determined to ensure there is a seamless process for all recipients whose payments are moving from DWP to Social Security Scotland, and we will continue to transfer cases in a safe and secure manner.
“Importantly, the process is automatic – people do not need to reapply and they will be kept informed at all times.”
Mark Ballard, head of policy at the National Deaf Children’s Society Scotland, said it had had “positive and productive discussions with Social Security Scotland around our shared goal of making the new Child Disability Payment work for deaf children”.
Mr Ballard stated: “Social Security Scotland has consistently taken on board our feedback, which is based on both the lived experience of the families we work with and our own specialist knowledge.
“We look forward to continuing to work with them to develop and enhance Scottish benefits for deaf children and their families.”
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