Child Disability Payment

9 mins read

This advice applies in Scotland only.

Child Disability Payment is the main benefit for disabled children in Scotland. It has replaced claims for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

In this article

What is Child Disability Payment?

Child Disability Payment is the main benefit for disabled children in Scotland, paid by Social Security Scotland.

Child Disability Payment has replaced new claims in Scotland for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the main benefit for disabled children in the rest of the UK. Most children in Scotland who were getting DLA should now have been transferred onto Child Disability Payment.

Watch our benefits expert Derek explain what Child Disability Payment is (complete substitles available).

Who can claim Child Disability Payment?

Child Disability Payment is for children under 16 who, because of a disability or medical condition, either:

  • Need more care or supervision than other children of the same age.
  • Have difficulties in getting around outdoors.

Normally, a parent or someone with parental responsibility – such as a grandparent or kinship carer – must make the claim for the child.

Your child’s condition or disability

You may be able to get Child Disability Payment if your child has a disability of any type.

You don’t need to wait for a formal diagnosis to make a claim. It is sufficient that they have some form of disability. However, you will need to show that your child needs substantially more care or supervision than other children of the same age who don’t have a disability or health condition. This test does not apply if your child is 16 or 17 or if they have a terminal illness.

Any decision to award Child Disability Payment will be based on how your child’s condition impacts on their day-to-day life. Normally, you need to show that your child’s needs have existed for at least 13 weeks and will continue to last for at least another 26 weeks. This does not apply if they are terminally ill.


Normally, a child must be at least three months old to get Child Disability Payment. Terminally ill children can get it from birth.

Your child must also be under 16 to be able to claim the Child Disability Payment. Once a young person on Child Disability Payment turns 16, Social Security Scotland will write to tell them that they can claim Adult Disability Payment instead if they’d like to. Alternatively, they can stay on Child Disability Payment until they are 18 and delay making a claim for Adult Disability Payment.

Income, working & immigration status

Child Disability Payment is not means-tested. This means it does not matter what income or savings you have or whether you are working.

Your child will also have to meet certain rules linked to their immigration status and the length of time they have lived in the UK. If your child is three years or above and hasn’t been in the UK for at least 26 weeks out of the last year, call our free helpline for more advice.

How much Child Disability Payment will I get?

Depending on their circumstances, your child may qualify for one or for both components of Child Disability Payment.

You can get the care component of Child Disability Payment for your child from age three months (or from birth if terminally ill). You can get the mobility component from the age of three years.

Care component

If your child needs a lot of extra watching over or help with personal care, they should qualify for the care component of Child Disability Payment. This is paid at one of three different rates depending on how much extra care your child needs.

The currently weekly rates (from April 2024) are:

  • Lowest rate care – £28.70
  • Middle rate care – £72.65
  • Highest rate care – £108.55

Whether you get the care component and the rate you get will depend on the amount of extra care or supervision that your child needs and whether this happens during the day or at night.

Mobility component

The mobility component is for children who need help in getting around. It is paid at one of two rates, depending on the nature of the mobility problems.

Eligible children can get the lower mobility component from the age of five. This is for those who need extra guidance or supervision out of doors. The higher rate of the mobility component can start from the age of three. This is for those with severe walking difficulties or those who are deaf blind or severely visually impaired.

Specific rules allow some children with severe learning difficulties or autistic spectrum disorders to qualify for the higher rate of the mobility component if they have disruptive behaviour requiring regular restraint and constant supervision.

The mobility component weekly rates from April 2024 are:

  • Lower rate mobility – £28.70
  • Higher rate mobility – £75.75

Terminally ill children

Children who qualify under the special rules for the terminally ill automatically get the highest rate of the care component. So long as they are three or above, they will also get the higher rate mobility component.

There is a quicker way of applying for Child Disability Payment if your child is terminally ill. As part of this process, you complete a shorter application form. You also need to get your doctor or nurse to complete a ‘Benefits Assessment under the Special Rules in Scotland (BASRiS)’ Form. This form describes your child’s condition and treatments, and you don’t need to pay for it.

Unlike DLA or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), there is no need to show that you expect your child to pass away within six months. You can make a claim under the special rules so long as your child’s nurse or GP believes your child has a progressive disease that one can reasonably expect to cause their death. Guidance suggests that Social Security Scotland take the following factors into account:

  • Whether the condition is advanced and progressive or with risk of sudden death.
  • Whether it is amenable to curative treatment.
  • Whether the condition is leading to an increased need for additional care and support.

How do I claim Child Disability Payment?

If your child lives in Scotland, is under 16 and does not already get DLA, you can make a claim for Child Disability Payment. You can do this online at or by telephone on 0800 182 2222. You can also use this number to ask for a paper form or to book an appointment for face-to-face help from Social Security Scotland staff to complete the form.

There are two parts to the Child Disability Payment application form. You start the application by completing part one; this registers the date of your claim. You then have 42 days (six weeks) to complete part two, which contains the detailed information about your child’s care and mobility needs.

 If you’re going to have difficulty completing part two within the six-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.

A Child Disability Payment award cannot usually be backdated. You’ll receive it from the date you completed and registered part one of the form. The only exception to this is where a child is claiming under the special rules for the terminally ill. In those circumstances, it is possible for an award to be backdated. This will be to either the date doctors diagnosed their terminal illness or for six months, whichever is the more recent.

Our benefits expert Derek explains how to make a claim for Children Disability Payment (complete subtitles available).

Getting a Child Disability Payment decision

Once you’ve applied for Child Disability Payment, you’ll receive updates from Social Security Scotland on the progress of your claim. A decision will be sent to you by post. This is called a determination.  If your child is terminally ill, you should receive a determination within a few days. Otherwise, you should normally receive a determination within six weeks.

The determination letter will also tell you when Social Security Scotland will review your award of Child Disability Payment.

What if I’m not happy with a Child Disability Payment decision?

If Social Security Scotland refuses you Child Disability Payment or awards it at a lower rate than you expected, you may wish to ask them to have another look at your claim. This is known as asking for a “re-determination”.

You can ask for this to happen in writing or by phone. You normally have 42 days to ask for a re-determination, although they will sometimes accept late requests. If you’re not happy with the outcome of the re-determination, you can appeal to an independent Tribunal. You should appeal within 31days of receiving the re-determination and can do this by completing a paper appeal form or by calling Social Security Scotland.   

Child Disability Payment and stays away from home

Stays in residential accommodation affect payment of the care component of Child Disability Payment. Payments usually stop once your child has spent 28 “linked” days in residential care home, residential school or residential college and public funds are meeting the costs of this accommodation. The mobility component continues as usual.

If your child is in hospital, they can continue to receive both components of Child Disability Payment in full, so long as they were aged under 18 on the date that their stay as an in-patient began.

Moving between Scotland and other parts of the UK

Moving from Scotland

If your child gets Child Disability Payment and moves from Scotland to elsewhere in the UK, you will need to let Social Security Scotland know. Child Disability Payment will continue for the first 13 weeks after they leave before stopping.

You will need to make a claim for DLA, or for PIP if they are 16 or above.

Moving to Scotland

If your child moves to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK and gets DLA, you should let Social Security Scotland know. They will arrange for your child to transfer from DLA to Child Disability Payment. This will happen without the need for a claim or any reassessment.

Child Disability Payment and other benefits and financial help

Child Disability Payment is not taxable and doesn’t count as income for other benefits.

Instead, getting Child Disability Payment can lead to an increase in other benefits you receive or help you qualify for entitlements for the first time. Make sure you tell any office paying you other benefits or tax credits that your child receives Child Disability Payment.