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Child Disability Payment (Scotland)

Child Disability Payment (CDP) is a benefit to provide support for the extra costs that a disabled child may have in Scotland. CDP is available to children under 16 with a mental or physical disability and will be paid by Social Security Scotland until a child is 18. An adult with parental responsibilities or a guardian can apply on behalf of the child. The amount awarded will depend on how a child or young person’s condition affects them. It is a non-means tested benefit, this means your income and savings are not considered.

CDP is the replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children and young people in Scotland. If your child or young person is already in receipt of DLA, this will move from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and will be paid by Social Security Scotland. You don’t need to do anything unless there has been a change in circumstances. Social Security Scotland will transfer the benefit over, it takes about three months to do this. They will contact you to let you know when the transfer begins and once it has ended.

Follow this link for more information about your benefit moving to Social Security Scotland.


You are eligible for CDP if the following applies to your child:

  • They’re under 16
  • They live in Scotland, or in the EEA, Switzerland or Gibraltar and has a genuine and sufficient link to Scotland
  • They need more care or supervision or have difficulty walking or getting around outdoors in unfamiliar places, compared to a child of the same age who isn’t disabled

The child does not have to have a diagnosis to apply for CDP, you can tell Social Security Scotland about their symptoms and how the child is affected.

Further information for those living in the EEA, Switzerland or Gibraltar – Currently living in an EEA country or Switzerland or Gibraltar –

If your child does not live in Scotland nor has a genuine and sufficient link to Scotland, they may be eligible for DLA for children. For information on DLA for children – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children – GOV.UK (

Claiming CDP

You can apply for CDP online, or by phone and paper.

If you need help with applying for CDP, Social Security Scotland’ Local Delivery Service will be able to help you – If you need help from Social Security Scotland –

The online form can only be completed in English. If you want to apply in a language that is not English, you can still apply over the phone with an interpreter provided by Social Security Scotland or you can be sent a paper application form that is available in over 100 different languages.

Claiming CDP on behalf of a child should not affect any other benefits you may be getting, and it is paid on top of earnings and income. CDP is split into two parts: a mobility component and a care component. You can apply for both or either one of these as long as the child you are applying for satisfies the eligibility criteria.

Social Security Scotland aim to make a decision within six to eight weeks after receiving your form and all information they require, and you will receive a notice of determination containing their decision. For terminally ill children, the decision is made within seven days. The notice of determination will state whether you have been awarded CDP, the rates you have been awarded and for how long.

When your child turns 16, Social Security Scotland will get in touch to ask if the young person can manage their own benefit. If they can, Social Security Scotland will begin to pay the young person directly. If they are unable to manage their own payments, an appointee can be named to manage the young person’s CDP.

Children and young people who get CDP can also get extra support. Further information on what this can include – Other benefits related to Child Disability Payment –

CDP rates

The claim form which you need to fill in will ask different questions about your child’s need for help when completing tasks. The rate which your child will be awarded depends on the level of care they need and/or the level of help they need getting around.

The care component and mobility component each have different award rates based on the amount of support your child requires.


Children three months old or over may qualify for this component. If the child is terminally ill, they qualify from birth.

Lowest rate

  • Needs attention from someone, for a significant part of the day, in connection with their bodily functions
  • Is 16 or older and, due to a mental or physical disability, unable to prepare a cooked main meal for themselves

Middle rate

  • Needs frequent attention during the day or repeated attention at night in connection with their bodily functions
  • Needs supervision during the day or frequently at night to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others
  • Gets renal dialysis treatment at least twice a week

Highest rate

  • Needs frequent and prolonged attention both day and night, or they’re terminally ill.


Lowest rate

  • Child must be five or over
  • Can walk, with or without equipment, but needs guidance or supervision to move around outdoors most of the time

Highest rate

  • Child must be three or over
  • Cannot walk, or is virtually unable to more around outdoors due to their disability
  • Has a severe visual disability or is blind and deaf
  • Has a severe mental health disability
  • 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
  • Would experience a serious deterioration in their health from the exertion of walking
  • Is terminally ill

There are different age restrictions for children who are terminally ill.

The current payments for each rate can be viewed here – Child Disability Payment –

Strengthening your application

On your child’s application form, it is important to give as much detail as possible to illustrate how they meet the criteria. Your child’s GP, neuromuscular consultant or other healthcare professional could assist you with the claim or provide a letter of support. Explain to your GP or healthcare professional how the condition affects your child’s daily life so that they can support the application.

Supporting letters should describe your child’s need for help and supervision, relate specifically to your child’s condition and explain what would happen if this help and support is not available. A supporting letter can be provided by anyone who is involved professionally with your child’s care. This could include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work and a professional from a neuromuscular team such as a nurse specialist or care advisor.

Often applications are rejected because people do not provide enough detail regarding a child’s care or mobility needs or they do not provide supporting evidence such as hospital letters with the application. It is important to make sure you go into adequate depth about any difficulties your child may experience and how this is different to other children of their age. There is the expectation that children, especially younger children, would require a lot of assistance anyway. Therefore, you must specify how your child’s condition impacts the level of assistance.

Remember that the person reading the application form may have no experience of muscle wasting and weakening conditions and their complexity, so provide as much helpful information as you can, and clearly explain if there are times when a child can do something and times when they cannot.

Challenging a decision

If you’re unhappy with your award, you have six weeks to ask Social Security Scotland to look at their decision again. It is possible to request this within the year, if there is a good reason for a late request, but this may be refused.

To request a re-determination:

Another decision will be made within eight weeks. If you still disagree with the re-determination decision, you have 31 days to make an appeal to the Tribunal. We can support you with the process of requesting a re-determination or making an appeal.

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