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Benefits and Entitlements (test)

This is about the financial help you can get.

Benefits and entitlements change when someone turns 16. Working out the best options for your family as a whole can be a challenge. Call the free confidential Contact helpline, or speak to other specialist welfare or disability advisers, to make sure you don’t miss out.

Most benefits and entitlements come from one of three sources:

  • The UK government (through the Department of Work and Pensions or DWP, and as child benefits or tax credits through HMRC)
  • Scottish Government (through Social Security Scotland for devolved benefits such as Adult Disability Payment, Child Disability Payment and Carer Support Payment)
  • Local government (through your council).

For more information on benefits or financial support check the useful links on the right or call the Contact helpline on 0808 808 3555. Say you are calling from Scotland and an adviser will arrange a time to call you back.

How things change at age 16

From the 16th birthday, the benefit system views a young person as an adult.

They are expected to claim and manage benefits themselves and have these paid into a bank account in their name. If your young person needs help to do this, you can apply to be their appointee – if they agree, you can act on the young person’s behalf. 

Find out more about your rights and responsibilities as an appointee.

Child Disability Payment (CDP) has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in Scotland

Child Disability Payment is a new benefit introduced in Scotland to replace new claims for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

For the most part, the qualifying rules for Child Disability Payment are identical to DLA . 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.

Find out more about Child Disability Payment and special rules.

Note to Susan: the following sections are new and may need new pages or Anchors. Do feel that most of this is key info to be read in context of transition.

Adult Disability Payment (ADP)

ADP is replacing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled adults aged 16 and over in Scotland. This new benefit is rolling out across Scotland. It will take until 2025 to move everyone’s benefit across. The date you are given for the transfer will usually depend on your review date for PIP. Visit Personal Independence Payment is moving for progress on changes.  

ADP has already replaced new claims for PIP in all parts of Scotland. It isn’t means tested and will continue if someone starts work.

Initially, ADP will have very similar rules to PIP. But the Scottish Government intends to carry out a full review of the benefit.

If your child is 16 or over and does not already get:

then they won’t be able to make a new claim for PIP (or DLA or Child Disability Payment). They will need to claim Adult Disability Payment instead.

Existing Child Disability Payment claimants

If your child gets Child Disability Payment, they will not be automatically transferred onto Adult Disability Payment. Instead, you or your child will have to make a claim for Adult Disability Payment at some point between their 16th and 18th birthday.

When your child is approaching the age of 16, Social Security Scotland will write to you asking if they need an appointee to manage their benefits. Social Security Scotland will explain that they have the option of making a claim for Adult Disability Payment once they turn 16. They don’t have to do this. If they prefer, your son or daughter can choose to continue to get Child Disability Payment, and claim at a later date. They can claim Adult Disability Payment at any point while they are 16 or 17.

Avoiding a gap in payments

However, they should try and make sure they claim before they turn 18. This is so they can avoid any gap in their disability benefit payments.

So long as your child makes a full application for Adult Disability Payment before their 18th birthday, their existing Child Disability Benefit payments can continue temporarily until a decision has been made on their Adult Disability Payment claim. (A full application means they have completed and submitted both part one and part two of the claim form.)

However, if they have not submitted a full claim before they turn 18, their Child Disability Payment will stop on their 18th birthday. They can still claim Adult Disability Payment after they turn 18, but they won’t receive any Child Disability Payment while they are waiting for a decision.

If your child chooses to claim Adult Disability Payment before 18 but they are refused this benefit, they will continue to receive Child Disability Payment up until their 18th birthday. They can also re-apply for Adult Disability Payment at any time, despite the fact that their earlier claim was unsuccessful.

How to apply for Adult Disability Payment    Could link to Contact section on this with Anchor?

You can apply online by registering and setting up an account with Social Security Scotland How to apply for Adult Disability Payment – mygov.scot or by phone on 0800 182 2222

If you’re a British Sign Language user, you can use the Contact Scotland service to get in touch with Social Security Scotland. 

If your young person is unable to apply themselves you can get someone to help apply for ADP.

A family member

A friend

A carer, support worker

An appointee

You can also get help via Social Security Scotland from an independent advocate or free local delivery service for person to person support.

Find out more If you need help from Social Security Scotland – mygov.scot

For further information on Adult Disability Payment and rules, visit Adult Disability Payment & disability benefits at 16 (contact.org.uk)

Existing PIP claimants – this section is key to understanding the changes PIP/ADP

From 2022, working age adults in Scotland who already get PIP began to transfer over to Adult Disability Payment.  Transfers will continue until 2025.

The date you’re likely to be transferred will usually depend on your review date for PIP. You’ll be fast-tracked if any of the following apply:

There’s been a change in your condition since 29 August 2022.

You’re due a PIP review.

Your PIP award is about to end.

How will the transfer from PIP happen?

A disabled adult transferred from PIP to Adult Disability Payment will have their award moved over automatically to the new Scottish benefit. There will be no change in the amount they get or their payment dates. They won’t have to make a claim for Adult Disability Payment, and they won’t need to go through a re-assessment.

Once Social Security Scotland selects your adult child for transfer to Adult Disability Payment, they will write to them (or you if you are their appointee) confirming their intention to transfer their award. The transfer process will normally take three-four months (one month for the terminally ill).

During this “transition period”, your adult child will get PIP as normal. Usually, you will not need to do anything, and your child’s award will transfer automatically. In a few cases, Social Security Scotland may need to contact someone to confirm that personal details are correct.

Once the transfer onto Adult Disability Payment is complete, Social Security Scotland will write to you or your child confirming this. They will explain the rate of the daily living and mobility components they will get (usually the same as they were getting for PIP). The letter will explain when their PIP award ends and when their Adult Disability Payment starts. It’ll also specify the date their new Adult Disability Payment award will be reviewed.

Once your child is on Adult Disability Payment, you should make sure to tell any offices paying them other benefits or providing them with services, such as the Blue Badge, that they are now getting Adult Disability Payment.

Appointees

If you manage your adult child’s PIP as their appointee, Social Security Scotland will want to review your appointment after your child has transferred to Adult Disability Payment.

This is because there are some differences between the law in Scotland and the rest of the UK about appointees.

Possibly a new section

Adult Disability Payment and Motability

Where a disabled adult moves from PIP to Adult Disability Payment they will receive the same rates of Adult Disability Payment as they got from PIP. However where a child moves from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment it’s possible that their award may change.

If your child previously got the higher rate mobility component of Child Disability Payment but doesn’t qualify for the enhanced rate of the mobility component under Adult Disability Payment, they will no longer be eligible for the Motability Scheme.

Motability Operations Ltd will be in touch to arrange for the vehicle to be returned. However, you may also be eligible for a package of transitional support, as long as you return the vehicle to the dealership in good condition and by the agreed date. The transitional support available depends on when your child first joined the scheme.

Further details below or could link these options to  Contact – Anchor to mobility section? Adult Disability Payment & disability benefits at 16 (contact.org.uk)

Joined before 2013

You have two options. You can either:

Choose to keep the vehicle for eight weeks (starting from the day of your last mobility allowance payment) and receive a £2,000 transitional support payment. You must return your car within eight weeks, in a good condition.

Choose to keep the vehicle for 26 weeks and receive a reduced transitional support payment of £500. You must return your car within 26 weeks, in a good condition.

Joined during 2013

You have two options. You can either:

Choose to keep the vehicle for eight weeks and receive a £1,000 transitional support payment. You must return your car within eight weeks, in a good condition.

Choose to keep the vehicle for 26 weeks and receive a reduced transitional support payment of £250. You must return your car within 26 weeks, in a good condition.

Joined since 1 January 2014

If you joined on or after 1 January 2014, you can choose to keep your vehicle for eight weeks and receive a standard £250 ‘Return to Dealer’ payment.

You must return your car within eight weeks, in a good condition. As well as one of the above transitional support package options, you have the option of buying the vehicle outright.

Carers Support Payment / Carers Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for someone (aged 16 or over and not in full time education) looking after a disabled person. Many parents of disabled children and young adults qualify.

You might get it if you provide a certain amount of care to a child receiving particular disability benefits.

In Scotland, a new benefit called the carers support payment will replace Carer’s Allowance. This new benefit is being piloted in specific parts of Scotland before being rolled out more widely across Scotland from Spring 2024.  If you get Carer’s Allowance and live in Scotland, you do not need to apply for Carer Support Payment. Your benefit will move to Carer Support Payment. This is planned to happen between February 2024 and spring 2025. For more details visit our Contact Carers Allowance Page Carer’s Allowance | Contact

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit for people of working age to help with living costs. You might be able to claim Universal Credit to top up your earnings, or if you’re out of or unable to work.

Your young person may be able to claim this in their own right as a young disabled adult from the age of 16, but you should check with a benefits adviser to see if this is the best option for your family as it may affect other benefits you receive.

Claiming Universal Credit in education

Most people receiving education cannot claim Universal Credit unless they have a dependent child.

There are three main groups of students who may still be able to get Universal Credit in education. These are:

  • Certain groups of students who are exempt from the normal restrictions. This includes any student with a dependent child and some disabled students who meet specific tests.
  • Part-time students.
  • Some young people who remain in non-advanced education beyond the August after their 19th birthday.

The rules are extremely complex. Some families are better off if they claim for their child as a dependent, but for others it’s better if the young person claims universal credit in their own right. We suggest you read our Contact Universal Credit for young people receiving education webpage Universal Credit for young people receiving education (contact.org.uk) or call our free helpline for detailed advice.

Young people can claim online Universal Credit: How to claim – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The impact of your young person moving into work can be far reaching.

If a young person is moving into any kind of paid work, even if they are still in education, it’s worth speaking to an adviser as the benefits rules are complicated.

Finance and education.

Self directed support and PIP ADP should continue when young people move into further or higher education. Young people receiving PIP ADP can claim universal credit while in education, but in practice it can be complicated and may be affected by any student grants or loans. Most will have to wait several months to complete the medical assessment to establish fitness for work, and are unlikely to be paid during this time. The Contact helpline or another benefits advice service can tell you more about this.

Find out more about financing education and living away from home. This should link to the changes Tracey made

Child Benefit.

This will usually be paid up to age 16. It may continue up to age 19 if the young person is still in full time non-advanced education, but will stop if they enter a work placement programme or higher education. The rules can be complicated, so it’s best to seek advice.

Appealing a decision

If you’re unhappy with a decision about benefits you can ask for a “mandatory reconsideration” within a month of the decision date. If you’re still unhappy after the revision you can appeal to an independent tribunal in writing, again within a month. Late appeals may be accepted, but this isn’t guaranteed. It’s useful to involve a support worker, benefit adviser or voluntary organisation to get help with preparing an appeal.