Children Social Security

Child Disability Payment Pilot Areas Announced

Initial applications to be taken in three local authority areas.

Families of children with a disability or long term health condition living in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles will be able to apply for Child Disability Payment from summer 2021. This new benefit will be available across Scotland from autumn 2021.

Child Disability Payment will replace Disability Living Allowance for Children, which is currently delivered through the Department for Work and Pensions.

This new support is there for families applying for disability assistance for the first time. Families currently getting Disability Living Allowance for Children from the Department for Work and Pensions will start to be transferred to the new Scottish system from 2021.

This is the second form of disability assistance to be delivered under the new Scottish social security system following the introduction of Child Winter Heating Assistance in November 2020.

Child Disability Payment is the first disability benefit to be introduced that will require people to submit an application. People will be able to apply for this payment by post, phone, online and face to face. This is the first time in Scotland that people will be able to apply for a disability benefit online.

To coincide with the introduction of Child Disability Payment, we will also launch our local delivery service. This means that from autumn 2021, when Child Disability payment is available for new applications across the country, people will be able to get advice and support on 11 Social Security Scotland administered benefits face-to-face at a location in their local community.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Next year will be an important one for social security in Scotland as we start to deliver the more complex disability benefits and we see the introduction of face-to-face services.

“We’ve worked with people who will use this service to make sure it will meet their needs. This is what has led to make improvements like the introduction of an online application option and the availability of advice and support in local communities. This influence isn’t only evident in these big decisions, we’ve worked with people right down to details like how we word questions on our applications forms.

“Through building this system with the people who will use it, we hope to have a service that is as straightforward as possible for families to use. Parents and carers of a child who has a disability or long term health condition already experience a number of challenges and accessing the support that they are entitled to shouldn’t be another one.

“This initial pilot is a further chance to get people’s feedback and we look forward to hearing what our first disability benefit applicants have to say. We will continually invite input and adapt accordingly – this is key to making sure that we deliver the best possible service and that we have a system that treats everyone with dignity, fairness and respect.”


  • Child Disability Payment will provide money to help with the extra care and mobility costs children and young people with a disability may have, up to the age of 18.
  • People who currently get UK Government disability benefits will be transferred to the new Scottish system in stages after the new benefits are introduced. This work is expected to be completed to the previously announced timeline of 2025.
  • Young people and children in Scotland who are currently getting Disability Living Allowance for children from the DWP will no longer need to apply for PIP when they turn 16. They will stay on Disability Living Allowance to age 18. 
  • Child Winter Heating Assistance  was the first disability assistance to be introduced by the Scottish Government. This is an annual £200 payment for children and young people who receive the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance will help families meet day and night-time winter fuel costs.
  • From autumn 2021, Social Security Scotland will administer 11 benefits.
  • Carer’s Allowance Supplement
  • Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment
  • Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment
  • Best Start Grant School Age Payment
  • Best Start Foods
  • Funeral Support Payment
  • Young Carer Grant
  • Job Start Payment
  • Scottish Child Payment (for children under 6 years old)
  • Child Winter Heating Assistance
  • Child Disability Payment.
Social Security

Child Disability Payment To Be Introduced Next Summer

Update on delivery timeline for devolved benefits.

Child Disability Payment will be the next new benefit to be introduced by the Scottish Government.

In an update to the Scottish Parliament today, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security Shirley-Anne Somerville said Social Security Scotland will start taking applications from summer 2021 as part of a pilot, ahead of a full roll-out across the country from autumn 2021.

This will be followed by the introduction of Adult Disability Payment, which will be piloted from spring 2022 and available across the country by summer 2022.

Child Disability Payment will replace the DWP’s Disability Living Allowance for Children and Adult Disability Payment will replace Personal Independence Payment.

People who currently get UK Government disability benefits will be transferred to the new Scottish system in stages after the new benefits are introduced. This work is expected to be completed to the previously announced timeline of 2025.

Once Adult Disability Payment has been rolled out, anyone on Personal Independence Payment or Working Age Disability Living Allowance who reports a change in condition, has an upcoming review date, or is about to reach the end of their DWP award period, will transfer to Social Security Scotland so that they do not have to undergo a DWP face-to-face assessment.

The Cabinet Secretary also confirmed the ambition to roll out Scottish Child Payment to under-16s by the end of 2022, subject to getting the data for 6-16 year olds from the DWP.

Ms Somerville said:

“I am pleased we have been able to make progress this year with our work to establish a new social security system for Scotland, despite the impacts of COVID-19. Our progress includes the introduction of three new benefits. Our Job Start Payment helps young people starting a new job after a period of unemployment. Child Winter Heating Assistance will help families of the most seriously disabled children and young people heat their homes. And through our prioritising of the game-changing Scottish Child Payment, we were able to start taking applications for children under 6 last week.

“Ahead of COVID-19 we were on track with our other new benefits too. However, the pandemic halted that. There was a limit to what we could do given the changes to our own operations and without the valuable input from delivery partners. We were forced to review our timeline for the introduction of these more complex benefits. Given how close we were to introducing the first of our major disability assistance payments, this is of course hugely disappointing to me. I know that feeling will be shared by others.

“It is clear that while the fight against this virus continues, work needs to be re-prioritised by both the Scottish Government and our partners to focus on the response and recovery. Health and social care professionals – whose expertise we need to deliver disability benefits – are rightly working on the frontline to both fight this virus and restart health services. Councils are concentrating on maintaining services, while providing the additional support people need right now. The Department for Work and Pensions, who are essential partners in the work on the transfer of benefits, face similar challenges.

“Working with these partners we have developed as ambitious a timeline as possible, while remaining cognisant that COVID-19 is still here – indeed we remain in the grip of it. The new timeline I have set out today is reasonable and realistic.

“I am glad that I am now able to provide people with more clarity. Being transparent about our plans and what is achievable is part of ensuring our social security system continues to treat people with dignity, fairness and respect.”


  • Read the  Cabinet Secretary’s statement in full
  • This update follows an  announcement in April 2020 that outlined the impact of COVID-19 on the introduction of further devolved benefits
  • Position papers  setting out what disability benefits under the Scottish Government will look like were published last month
  • From week commencing 23 November 2020, Social Security Scotland will administer a total of ten benefits of behalf of the Scottish Government. More information on these can be found at or by calling 0800 182 2222
  • Work is continuing to with the UK Government to establish timelines for Scottish Carer’s Assistance, the other disability related benefits and winter benefits. People will continue to get their payments in the meantime under agency agreements with DWP