Disabled people are being urged to find out if they are eligible for Scottish Government disability benefits as part of a new campaign to increase benefit take-up.
The nationwide campaign is trying to raise awareness about financial support available to help with the extra costs that disabled children and adults may face.
Child disability payments provide financial support to help families and carers with the extra costs of caring for a disabled child or young person or a child or young person with a long-term health condition.
Adult disability payments are available to people aged between 16 and state pension age who are disabled, have a long-term health condition or a terminal illness.
The new campaign will include TV adverts featuring nine-year-old Piper, who has Down’s Syndrome.
Her mum, Caroline Milburn, said disability benefits have helped cover extra costs as well as give Piper opportunities she’d never have had without them.
“Piper is such a unique character,” Ms Milburn, from Edinburgh, said.
“When she was born we were told she wouldn’t walk until she was around six, but she was walking at two. She’s so determined and knows her own mind. If she wants to do something she’ll do it.
“Disability benefit allowed me to buy her a sensory swing and a tablet that gives her access to games that help her learn. She just thinks she’s having fun but the games have taught her so much.
“She plays them with her five-year-old brother sitting beside her and he learns with her.”
“Child Disability Payment helps cover the costs of buying Piper new clothes and duvets as she is always chewing holes in them It also allows me to send her to holiday clubs. She loves them and they’re really good for her, but they cost about £40 a week.
“Piper is such an amazing girl and she makes everyone’s lives better. Without disability benefits we’d not have been able to give her all the experiences and opportunities she’s had to learn and connect with the world.”
These benefits are given out by Social Security Scotland and replace the Department for Work and Pensions’ Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children, DLA and Personal Independence Payment.
People already receiving disability payments from DWP can have their benefits transfer automatically and do not need to apply separately.
“Being disabled or having a long-term health condition can come with a variety of extra costs, such as paying more for accessible transport,” social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said.
“We want to make sure that disabled children and adults get all the extra financial support they are entitled to, to ease the impact of those costs.
Somerville continued: “This campaign is not just about raising awareness but also has an important role to play in helping to remove any stigma that people may be worried about when applying for social security.
“We believe social security is a human right. It is here for any of us should we need it and we want to make sure people are accessing what they are due.”