Who can claim?

Prior to 22 November 2021 children aged under 16 in Scotland claimed Disability Living Allowance. However, from this date children with a Scottish postcode should apply for Child Disability Payment, from Social Security Scotland, when making a new disability benefit claim. In Scotland, children with an existing Disability Living Allowance claim will be transferred over to Child Disability Payment by 2023. There is no need to do anything until contacted.

There are some people aged 16 and over who may also have an existing claim for Disability Living Allowance. These claimants will be contacted by Social Security Scotland when they will be due to transfer to a new benefit, or if a change of circumstances is reported you move to a different benefit.

Basic qualifying period for Child Disability Payment is having experienced difficulties for 13 weeks and you expect these to continue for a further 26 weeks. Some exceptions to the qualifying period rule.

You can also apply for Child Disability Payment if the child does not have a diagnosis and you should tell Social Security Scotland how your child is affected and any symptoms they may have.

The questions consider if there is difficulty performing a task. Explain the difficulties e.g. through:

  • pain/severe discomfort
  • breathlessness
  • risk/safety
  • time taken (time consuming)
  • weakness/coordination/dexterity problems
  • sensory issues
  • emotional challenges

Things to consider

  • learning ability
  • sight
  • hearing
  • speech
  • communicating
  • development
  • behaviour
  • physical ability
  • falls
  • fits, seizures or blackouts
  • mental wellbeing
  • activities and nursery/school

Child Disability Payment considers bodily functions and takes in:

  • hearing/seeing
  • eating/drinking
  • walking/Sitting
  • sleeping/getting in and out of bed
  • dressing/undressing
  • going to the toilet
  • washing
  • communicating
  • medication/treatment
  • moving around/how your child walks
  • anything to do with the body and how it works

The mobility component, moving around outdoors, looks at:

  • physical issues
  • mental health issues
  • emotional issues
  • sensory issues
  • learning difficulties
  • or when a child has severe behavioural difficulties, due to a severe mental health disability, and needs supervision during the day and at night to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others

Levels of benefit

Mobility has 2 rates – high rate and low rate:

High rate can be assessed:

  • for children age 3 and over

Low rate can be assessed when your child:

  • is age 5 or over

Mobility will look at how your child’s health and wellbeing is affected, considering exertion issues, such as pain, breathlessness, emotional distress, unpredictable behaviours, tiredness, confusion as well as other challenges such as visual impairment, hearing loss.

Care component has 3 rates-high rate, middle rate and low rate:

High rate assessed when your child:

  • meets day and night criteria.
  • needs frequent attention from someone during the day or needs continual supervision during the day, to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others
  • and prolonged or repeated attention at night, in connection with their bodily functions due to a physical or mental disability or another person to be awake for prolonged periods or at frequent intervals to watch over them to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others
  • is terminally ill

Middle rate assessed when your child either:

  • meets day criteria
  • or meets night criteria

Where an individual undergoes renal dialysis twice a week, middle or high rate care may be considered depending when dialysis takes place.

Low rate assessed when your child:

  • needs attention from someone, for a significant part of the day, in connection with their bodily functions due to a physical or mental disability or continual supervision to avoid substantial danger
  • is 16 or older and, due to a mental or physical disability, is unable to prepare a cooked main meal for themselves

Questions you’ll be asked when applying for Child Disability Payment.

How to claim

The application is in 2 parts. This is unless you are applying for a child who is terminally ill, in which case there is only 1 part to make the process faster. Find out more on how to apply for Child Disability Payment.


To apply online, start the application through myaccount. This lets you save the application as you go so you can come back to it when it suits you.

If you do not already have an account with myaccount, you’ll need to:

  • register with a username and password
  • give some personal details

Phone and paper 

You can call Social Security Scotland by phone to start an application for a child.

Freephone: 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).

If you don’t agree with the award decision

If you do not agree with the award decision, you must first ask for a redetermination where they look again at the decision. This should be done within 42 days (6 weeks) of the decision notification. You can send in more information or new support letters from professionals who know about the difficulties.

Two ways to ask Social Security Scotland to look at their decision again

If the result still is not in your favour you can request an appeal which is sent to the tribunal service. This should be done within 31 days of the date of the redetermination decision.

You can lose or gain at the appeal, as they look at the whole decision again. Seek advice.

If you ask for a review as your health has changed:

You can lose or gain when you get a review of your entitlement, as they look at the whole decision again. Seek advice.