Disabled people urged to check benefit eligibility in new campaign

Caroline Milburn said disability payments have helped open up opportunities for 'amazing' nine-year-old daughter Piper.

Scottish Government: Disabled people encouraged to check entitlement to benefits Social Security Scotland

A mother who relies on disability benefits to cover costs and give her daughter opportunities she would not have had otherwise has encouraged others to find out if they are eligible.

The Scottish Government is launching a new advertisement campaign to increase take-up of devolved disability benefits.

Advertisements will be shown on television from Monday and aim to raise awareness about financial support available to help with the extra costs that disabled children and adults may face.

Child Disability Payment provides 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.

Caroline Milburn, from Edinburgh, said disability benefits have helped cover essential costs for her daughter Piper, nine, as well as give her opportunities she would never have had without them.

She said: “Piper is such a unique character. 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 tablet and give 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.”

The benefit was rolled out nationwide in November 2021 after the Scottish Government received significant new social security powers.

Adult Disability Payment is available to people aged between 16 and state pension age who are disabled, have a long-term health condition or a terminal illness.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne SomervillePA Media

They are paid and administered by Social Security Scotland and replace the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children, DLA and Personal Independence Payment for adults.

People already getting disability benefits from DWP will see their award transfer automatically and they do not need to apply separately.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Being disabled or having a long-term health condition can come with a variety of extra costs, such as paying more for accessible transport. 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.

“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.

“This is the first time that we are proactively promoting disability benefits as part of a national advertising campaign, including adverts on TV.

“We are not aware of the UK Government running a campaign on the equivalent UK benefits for over 30 years.

“I want to actively encourage people to check if they are eligible for child and adult disability payments and make sure they get extra financial support to help them live full and independent lives.”

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