Scottish Child Disability Payment reaches £60m milestone in first year
Almost £60m has been paid out to thousands of families in the first year of a new Scottish benefit.
The Child Disability Payment provides support with the additional costs of caring for children and young people with a disability, long-term health conditions or terminal illness.
Brought in to replace the UK Government's Disability Living Allowance for children, it has been rolled out on a phased basis and "the majority" of families still getting this should be moved over to the Scottish payment by the spring.
Newly published figures from Social Security Scotland show that almost 44,000 families have received the Child Disability Payment in its first year.
The total includes 34,000 people transferred from the UK Government system.
One mum, identified as Heather, said the benefit had allowed her to buy a computer and pay for outdoor school sessions for her son, who has autism and ADHD. She said: "That may not sound like much but it's changed his life. The outdoor school lets him learn in much smaller groups and in an active way that suits his brain.
"He's also discovered he's exceptionally good at games. That's given him something to feel proud of for the first time and something to talk to other children about. He's now talking about becoming a game developer or working for a big tech company. If it wasn't for [the] Child Disability Payment there's no way I could have afforded any of that and he'd still be the same boy who cried every night, not wanting to go to school."
Ben Macpherson, social security minister, said: "Caring for a child who is disabled or has a long-term ill-health condition can result in extra costs for families, from buying specialist equipment to paying for taxis to get to appointments. It can also be more expensive for children with disabilities to take part in the activities and opportunities with their peers."
He went on: "With the increasing financial pressures on families, it is important people are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to. I urge anyone who thinks they or their child may be eligible to get in touch with Social Security Scotland, as well as checking if they may be entitled to extra financial support by visiting costofliving.campaign.gov.scot."
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