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Disability Living Allowance for children in Scotland to be replaced by new benefit from 2020.

Monday 4th March 2019

Scottish Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has confirmed that new claims for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in Scotland will start to be replaced by a devolved benefit, Disability Assistance for Children and Young People from Summer 2020.

In her statement Ms Somerville also confirmed that this new benefit will be paid until age 18 rather than 16, and that children on the highest rate care component of the new benefit will also be entitled to Winter Heating Assistance - a £200 lump sum towards their heating costs.

The timetable for moving existing DLA claimants in Scotland onto the new benefit is not yet clear. However, Ms Somerville made clear that DLA claimants will not be required to make a new claim to move onto the new benefit. Instead the Social Security Scotland intends to work with the Department for Work and Pensions to arrange for transfers to happen automatically.

Detailed information about how else the new Scottish benefit might differ from DLA is not yet available.

A timetable for the roll out of other disability and carers benefits in Scotland was also set out:

  • Winter 2020 - Disability Assistance for Older People to replace Attendance Allowance.
  • Early 2021 - Disability Assistance for Working Age People to replace Personal Independence Payment.
  • End of 2021 - Scottish Carer's Allowance introduced.

During 2020 the Scottish government will also introduce an extra payment for Scottish carers who look after more than one disabled child. 

Read the Minister's full statement.

Susan Walls, Manager of Contact in Scotland, said: "We are pleased to see the Scottish Government's recognition of the extra costs that families face when raising a disabled children, with the announcement of £200 Winter Heating Assistance for those on the highest rate care component of the new Disability Assistance for Children and Young People from Summer 2020.

"Our Counting the Costs research found that one of the highest extra costs for families is heating. There are many health conditions and disabilities which require the heating to be on 24/7, so financial assistance towards heating bills is really positive."