Category: Scotland

The voice of parent carers is crucial in shaping a fairer and more inclusive Scotland for everyone.

The Scottish Government is currently seeking insights and feedback on the Learning Disabilities, Autism, and Neurodivergence (LDAN) Bill.

The Bill aims to ensure better treatment and opportunities for neurodivergent individuals and those with learning disabilities.

Share your thoughts

The Scottish government has been working on this legislation for the past two years. It has been seeking feedback from a wide range of groups, including neurodivergent individuals and those with learning disabilities.

Now, it has opened a public consultation, inviting anyone in Scotland to share their views and experiences.

The consultation has identified a wide range of issues and topics, and these have been broken down into 14 specific themes. You can provide feedback on as few or as many of these themes as you wish.

How you can get involved

Provide feedback via Contact

We will be responding to the consultation directly, with a focus on the following five themes: relationships, health and wellbeing, education, transitions and definitions.

If you would like to contribute to our response, we will be running two online focus groups for parent carers on Monday 15th April at 10:30am -12.30pm and 6.30pm-8.30pm.

We want to hear about your experiences and views on any of the five themes mentioned above. We will use the insights gained to provide comprehensive feedback to the consultation.

If you would like to take part in one of our sessions please email Susan Walls, Head of Programmes at by Friday 1st April.

Respond directly to the consultation

You can also respond directly to the consultation online or by video, post and audio.

You can view the full list of topics and themes at

Each theme invites you to answer three questions, and you can respond to as many or as few questions and themes as you see fit.

See more information on the bill, how to respond and to access the consultation guidelines.

The deadline for responding directly is 10pm on Sunday 21 April 2024.

By Your Side Scotland team

Our By Your Side Scotland team are delighted to be out again supporting families in University Hospital Wishaw.

We know how physically and emotionally exhausting it can be when your child is in hospital. And how important it is to be listened to and get the right help when you most need it.   

Families attending the hospital can access our resources from our information stand in the main foyer – all without an appointment. Lynn, our Scotland By Your Side Parent Adviser, will be at the Wishaw hospital on Tuesday 19th December from 10am to 4pm to guide anyone looking for support. We can help on a wide range of topics, including condition specific services, getting the right support in school, benefits, funding and grants, transition to adulthood planning and put you in touch with local parent support groups.

We also continue to provide support to families from our information stand at the Royal Hospital for Children (Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus), Glasgow. We’ll be there with our partners, the Family Fund and the Office for Rare Conditions Glasgow, on Wednesday 17th January from 10am to 4pm.

Remember – you don’t need a diagnosis to access our help, and we support families from birth to 25 years old.

Read more about our By Your Side holistic support in the Autumn edition of Rare Revolution Magazine (pages 15-18).

For enquiries, email or follow us on Facebook for more information and news.

This Sunday 19 November, a new benefit, Carer Support Payment, is rolling out in Scotland to replace Carer’s Allowance. The new benefit is paid at the same rate as Carer’s Allowance and will mostly have the same qualifying rules.

Below we explain what you need to know about the roll-out of Carer Support Payment.

Roll-out to new claimants

Initially, the new benefit pilots in the three areas of Dundee City, Perth and Kinross, and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles) only. If you live in one of these three areas and want to make a claim for Carer’s Allowance on or after 19 November, you will need to claim Carer Support Payment instead. 

To claim Carer Support Payment in one of the three pilot areas, apply online via You can also telephone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.

Social Security Scotland says that it plans a phased roll-out of the benefit to replace new applications for Carer’s Allowance elsewhere in Scotland. This is expected to start from Spring 2024, and the new benefit is likely to cover all areas of Scotland from Autumn 2024.

Roll-out to existing Carer’s Allowance claimants

For the time being, existing Carer’s Allowance claimants will continue to receive that benefit, even in the three pilot areas.

From February 2024 onwards, Social Security Scotland will gradually transfer existing Carer’s Allowance claimants in Scotland onto Carer Support Payment. This process will happen automatically without the need for you to complete a claim form. Further details about the timetable for transferring existing claimants is not yet available.

How much is Carer Support Payment?

Carer Support Payment is paid at the rate of £76.75 per week, the same amount as Carer’s Allowance.  You should also receive an additional lump sum payment – known as the Carer’s Allowance Supplement – twice a year.

Who qualifies for Carer Support Payment?

See our Carer Support Payment webpage for more details of the qualifying rules.

Most of the rules are identical to Carer’s Allowance. This includes the earnings threshold and the need to be looking after someone on certain disability benefits for at least 35 hours a week.

The main differences are:

Child's hand on top of a radiator

Families in Scotland should soon receive a Child Winter Heating Payment for each eligible child under 19.

The Child Winter Heating Payment – formerly known as the Child Winter Heating Assistance – is a lump sum payment of £235.70 that Social Security Scotland pays to eligible households.

Who is eligible for the payment?

You get a payment for each child in your family aged under 19 who gets one of the following benefits:

To qualify, your child must have been eligible for one of these benefits for at least one day between 18 September 2023 and 24 September 2023. This includes if your child’s award was made after 24 September but was backdated to a date before then.

Receiving the payment

The payment is per child or young person, not per household. So if you have more than one child or young person on the relevant benefits, they will each get a payment.

You don’t have to make a claim for Child Winter Heating Payment. If you’re eligible, you will get a letter to confirm this, and you’ll receive the money into the same account as your child’s disability benefit.

Most payments are being issued during November, although some people may not be paid until December. If you think you are eligible but have not received a letter by the end of December, contact Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.

Contact Scotland is working with partner organisations to host an information day for the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) community next Saturday 30 September.

Join us at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, from 10am-3.30pm to find out more about TSC Support Scotland, the charity for families affected by TSC. Meet the team and find out what advice and support they can offer.

You’ll also have the chance to meet the Contact Scotland team and see what work we do to support families across Scotland, alongside the team from the Office of Rare Conditions Glasgow.

Find out more by telephoning 07513 853 080 or emailing

From this week, families with disabled children in Scotland will have the chance to share their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government’s response and lessons for the future.

Let’s Be Heard is the independent Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry’s listening project, seeking answers to three key questions:

  1. What were your experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic? 
  2. What impact did these experiences have on you or people you know? 
  3. What lessons do you think should be learned from your experiences?

The listening exercise forms part of the wider Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry, which is investigating the devolved strategic response to the pandemic in Scotland between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2022.

Let’s Be Heard will also look at whether the government’s response impacted particular groups unequally or disproportionately. For this reason, we encourage families with disabled children in Scotland to take part. You might have views and experiences to share on issues like home schooling and support in education, shielding and masking, or the vaccination roll-out.

Get involved by visiting the Let’s Be Heard website. Forms will also be available on request by emailing or writing to Freepost SCOTTISH COVID-19 INQUIRY.

DCP planning to submit evidence to UK inquiry

The Westminster government is running its own UK-wide Covid-19 Inquiry.

As part of the Disabled Children’s Partnership, we will be submitting evidence to the education, children and young persons’ section of this inquiry. We previously submitted evidence to the inquiry’s consultation on its terms of reference.

Related information

Child Disability Payment is the new benefit for children aged under 16 in Scotland, replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in Scotland. Now our expert advisers have written a comprehensive guide to the new benefit.

Although Child Disability Payment looks similar to DLA in some respects, it uses slightly different rules to decide whether you qualify for the benefit, and at what rate.

Our comprehensive new guide Claiming Child Disability Payment takes you through what should happen if your child currently gets DLA, and how to claim Child Disability Payment if they don’t.

We also describe how to complete the application form, what tests are used to decide if a child gets it, with hints and tips on answering all the questions on the form.

Getting an award of Child Disability Payment can mean an increase in other benefits your family may be getting.

Get your free copy of Claiming Child Disability Payment, or call our freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 for your free copy.

Related information

Read more about the changes to welfare benefits in Scotland.

The Scottish Government have made clear that when they introduce a new carer support payment to replace Carer’s Allowance, they will initially keep the main qualifying rules broadly similar.

This will make the process of transferring existing Carer’s Allowance claimants onto the new Scottish benefit more straightforward.

The new benefit will be initially introduced as a pilot scheme at the end of 2023, before being launched across Scotland in spring 2024.

While most of the qualifying rules for the new benefit will mirror Carer’s Allowance rules, there will be two main changes introduced from the start of the pilot scheme.

These are:

Once the Scottish Government has completed the transfer of all Carer’s Allowance claimants in Scotland onto the new carer support payment, it intends to make a number of other changes to the rules. These will include:

At this point in time the Scottish Government has not committed itself to increasing the earnings limit.

For more details see the Scottish Government’s response to the Scottish Carers Assistance consultation.

Our By Your Side parent adviser, Lynn Shields, will be at the Sense Touchbase Centre in Glasgow along with 15 other organisations and charities on Saturday 25 March, to provide support to families with disabled children and young people.

No appointment necessary – just drop by when you can!

Come and have a chat with Lynn at the Sense Touchbase centre on Saturday 25th March from 10am – 3.30pm to make sure you have the information you need for your family. No appointment is necessary and it doesn’t matter if your child (aged 0-25) has a diagnosis or not.

The chance to find out what support is available for your family from Contact and over 15 other organisations – all in one place

Over 15 organisations and charities will be joining Contact at the Sense Touchbase centre on Saturday, including our key partners Family Fund, Office for Rare Conditions Glasgow and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Support Scotland. This is your chance to drop in and see us to find out about the wide range of support, information, services and grants available to you and your family – all in one place.

Other organisations there on the day include the Independent Living Fund, PAMIS, Social Security Scotland, Carers Scotland, Genetic Alliance UK, Children Health Scotland, Glasgow Disability Alliance, Lead Scotland, Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments, South East Carers Centre, Differabled and more.

It’s a great opportunity to pick up information and find out how organisations can provide support and connect with other parents and carers at the same time.

“Families have told us that they would like to access helpful and timely information much more easily and to be able to do that in one place.  Parents also said that they wanted charities and organisations to work together to provide a connected and wider network of support.

By hosting this drop-in day at the wonderful Sense Touchbase venue in Glasgow we and our partners hope to provide a welcoming space for families to meet a wide range of charities over a cuppa and hopefully get the resources and information they need.”

Donna Tomlin, Manager of the By Your Side Project in Scotland

How to get there on Saturday

You can find us on Saturday at Sense Touchbase, 47 Middlesex Street, Kinning Park, Glasgow G41 1EE.

Nearest subway stations are Kinning Park and Shields Road or for buses Firstbus 9/9a, 10 or 121 or Arriva 25, 36, 38 or 39 or there is free parking if you are driving.

The Sense Touchbase venue also has a chill out space, a personal care room and free on street parking.  If you would like a copy of our flyer about the event just email or if you have any questions please call 07458046071.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Adult Disability Payment, the benefit replacing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled adults in Scotland, has now been rolled out nationally. It replaces new claims for PIP across the whole country.

Up until now, Adult Disability Payment has only applied in certain pilot areas. From today, Monday 29 August, it extends to all parts of Scotland. If someone has not already claimed PIP, it is now too late for them to make a PIP claim. They will need to claim Adult Disability Payment instead.

Adults in Scotland who are already getting PIP are also moving onto Adult Disability Payment. This is happening gradually in stages between now and 2024. The first groups transferring will be those who:

When someone on PIP transfers to Adult Disability Payment, it happens automatically without the need to make a claim and without any need for a reassessment.

If your child is on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Child Disability Payment and turns 18, they will also be transferred to Adult Disability Payment.

Read more about welfare benefits in Scotland.

We have just announced four free online workshops for parent carers in Scotland covering a range of topics to help support your and your child’s wellbeing, no matter their age. 

Our workshops include: Encouraging Positive BehaviourHelping Your Child SleepParent Carer Wellbeing, and Helping Your Child Manage Their Anxiety

You can join all four sessions or just those that suit your needs. To register, click on the Eventbrite link for each workshop listed below. If you would like a workshop flyer or have any questions, please email

Encouraging Positive Behaviour (22 August, 6.30 – 8.30pm)

For parents and carers who have concerns about the behaviours of their children with additional needs. This session will help you understand the reasons children behave the way they do, learn different strategies to handle difficult situations in a calm manner, and look at ways of supporting your child. 

Visit the Eventbrite website to book your place

Helping Your Child Sleep (24 August, 10am – 12pm)

A child who does not sleep well can affect the whole family. Many children have sleep issues, but this is much more common for children with additional needs no matter their age. This workshop will explore some of the issues around sleep and will look at different ways of supporting your child, raising awareness of the importance of sleep and its effect on the family.   

Visit the Eventbrite website to book your place.

Parent Carer Wellbeing (5 September, 10am – 12pm)

Stress can be a huge factor for families with disabled children and young people. This online workshop will look at what causes you stress and how you cope with it at present, as well as suggest new strategies to manage stress and improve your own wellbeing. You will also have the opportunity to hear other parents’ experiences and share as much or as little of your story as you wish. 

Visit the Eventbrite website to book your place.

Helping Your Child Manage Anxiety (8 September, 10am – 12pm)

This workshop will explore what anxiety is, how to identify its signs, how it can make you feel, and the different types of anxiety a child may experience. We will then cover strategies to help you recognise and manage your child’s anxiety. 

Visit the Eventbrite website to book your place. 

This week sees the roll out of Adult Disability Payment to replace new claims for Personal Independence Payment in three new Scottish council areas. These areas are North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Angus.

This means that if you live in one of the following areas and do not already get Personal Independence Payment it is too late to make a new claim and you will need to claim Adult Disability Payment instead.

This now applies in:

Claims for Adult Disability Payment by new claimants can be made on-line at or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

This only applies to new claimants. People in Scotland already receiving Personal Independence Payment will continue to receive that benefit for the time-being.  PIP awards claimants will be transferred onto Adult Disability Payment in stages starting from this summer.  Transfers will be done automatically without needing to make a claim and without any need for a reassessment.

For more information about Adult Disability Payment see our webpage on Adult Disability Payment and benefits at 16.

All carers in Scotland who were getting Carer’s Allowance on 11 April 2022 will receive a lump sum payment of £245.70 from Social Security Scotland during the coming week. 

The supplement is an extra payment, paid twice a year, to people in Scotland who get Carer’s Allowance. You don’t need to apply for the supplement as it is paid automatically to Carer’s Allowance recipients.

Most people will receive their payment today, Friday 10 June, but some people may have to wait a few more days. If you’re eligible, you will receive a letter notifying you a payment has been made.

If you think you qualify but have still not received a letter or payment by Friday 17 June, call Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222.

Find our more about Carer’s Allowance, benefits you might be entitled to and welfare benefits in Scotland.

From April the Scottish Child Payment will be doubling from £10 to £20 per week. If you are a family in Scotland on means tested benefits and have a child aged under 6, make sure you are claim this benefit if you have not already done so.

What is the Scottish Child Payment?

The Scottish child payment is an extra amount paid to low income families for each child they have aged under 6 years. From late 2022 the payment will be extended to children aged under 16. The payment does not impact on any other benefits you receive.

Who qualifies for the Scottish Child Payment?

To qualify for a Scottish child payment a family must live in Scotland and must be receiving ‘a qualifying benefit’. This means you must be getting one of the following:

You also need to show that you are the person responsible for the child in question. You are treated as responsible for them if:

How do I apply for the Scottish Child Payment?

The payment is made by Social Security Scotland. To apply, you can either call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 or visit the Scottish Government website here.

Further information

You can find out more about the Scottish Child Payment and other welfare benefits in Scotland at our webpages on welfare benefits in Scotland.

A new benefit in Scotland for disabled adults aged between 16 and pension credit qualifying age launches in Scotland today. This new benefit – called Adult Disability Payment – will replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in Scotland.

The new benefit will initially pilot in certain specific council areas before rolling out to the rest of Scotland on 29 August.

When can I make a new claim for Adult Disability Payment?

Initially, the Adult Disability Payment is only replacing new claims for PIP.

The date you can make a new claim for Adult Disability Payment will depend on where in Scotland you live:

You can make an application for the new benefit online at or by calling free on 0800 182 2222. British Sign Language users can use video relay via the contactSCOTLAND BSL app.

What happens to existing PIP or DLA claimants?

Adults in Scotland who are already getting PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults won’t transfer onto the new Adult Disability Payment until later in the summer. This process is expected to happen in stages.

Once existing claimants start to transfer, this will happen automatically without the need for existing claimants to make an application for the new benefit.

How does Adult Disability Payment differ to PIP?

The new benefit’s eligibility criteria are very similar to PIP. But the way the benefit is assessed is expected to be different to PIP. Social Security Scotland plans to have much fewer face-to-face assessments. Social Security Scotland may still ask you to attend an assessment if it believes this is the only practical way to get the information it needs. But that assessment won’t be carried out by a private company.

Adult Disability Payment awards are also likely to be for longer periods. The Scottish Government recently confirmed that disabled people on the highest rates of the benefit, who have conditions unlikely to change, will receive indefinite awards of Adult Disability Payment. This means their award will not be subject to regular reviews.

Find out more

Read more about welfare benefits in Scotland or benefits across the UK (including Scotland).

You can also read about other financial support in Scotland.

The Scottish government has launched a consultation on its plans for Carer’s Assistance, a new benefit that will replace Carer’s Allowance in Scotland.

When the new benefit is first launched, it is likely that its rules will closely mirror Carer’s Allowance. In the medium to long term, the Scottish government hopes to make a number of changes to Carer’s Assistance. These include:  

The Scottish government is seeking the views of carers in Scotland about its plans. You can find out more about their consultation on the government’s website.

The consultation is open until 23rd May 2022. You can respond in writing or online via the Scottish government’s consultation hub.

Read more about Carer’s Allowance and other benefits and tax credits, including welfare benefits particular to Scotland.

We will continue to campaign on improvements to Carer’s Allowance across the UK.

Children and young people in Scotland aged 5-21 can now apply for a National Entitlement Card granting free travel on registered bus services across the country.

You can read more about eligibility and apply online now.

Free bus travel for 5-21 year olds begins from 31 January 2022.

Free bus travel for disabled people and their companions

Disabled people over five years old are also eligible for free bus travel in Scotland. In some cases, this includes free travel for a disabled person’s companion, too – see eligibility.

Anyone aged 5-21 may be better off applying for young person’s free bus travel instead if they want to avoid having to reapply once the proof of their disability expires.

But if a disabled person’s eligibility includes free travel for a companion as well, they should apply for that option.

More information about help with transport costs

Visit our webpage on transport and leisure discounts for advice on other forms of financial support available to help disabled people get out and about.

Featured image: “Lothian Buses 654 in Edinburgh” by simon835 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Scottish government have confirmed that Adult Disability Payment, a new benefit replacing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in Scotland, will be piloted in specific council areas from March before being rolled out across the country from August 2022.

Initially, the Adult Disability Payment will only replace new claims for PIP by disabled adults of working age who are not already getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or PIP. This pilot will start from 21 March 2022 in the council areas of Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles.

Further council areas will then be introduced in phases:

Read our webpage about Adult Disability Payment or take a look at our Money Matters Scotland guide for more information on the benefits, grants and other sources of financial support that may be available to you.

News story photo credit: Jeff Nyveen, Flickr