Child Disability Payment Amendment Regulations: draft equality impact assessment

The Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) considers potential effects of the Disability Assistance For Children And Young People (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 and how it impacts on people with one or more protected characteristics.

Impact of introducing amendment regulations to the Disability Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Regulations 2021 on individuals in protected groups and further considerations

  • The impact of introducing Child Disability Payment in place of Disability Living Allowance for Children (DLAC) has been reviewed in the principal regulations EQIA which can be viewed here.
  • For the purposes of these amendment regulations, we have not identified evidence of potential negative impacts to people who have one or more protected characteristics.
  • We recognise that there is limited data about young disabled people from certain protected characteristic groups, in particular in relation to gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, and religion and belief.


  • We are not aware of any evidence that suggests these amendments create any further particular inequalities for this protected characteristic.
  • We know that many disabled young people transition between child and adult services at age 16. The changes we are seeking to make to the age criteria will help ensure that young people aged 16-18 will not, have a gap, or lose their entitlement to CDP whilst waiting for their Adult Disability Payment application to be processed, or during case transfer. This will have a positive impact on disabled young people by reducing the anxiety and challenges at this difficult time for families. It will also help mitigate any further drop in household income at a time when other child benefits and respite care stops.
  • Adding an exception to the definition of legal detention will help ensure that children and young people who are in-patients in a hospital or hospice are not treated as though they are in legal detention and will continue to be paid their care component of CDP. This will provide more consistency for young people and their families regardless of which environment a young person becomes resident in. It avoids potentially putting children and young people and their families in the situation whereby they are faced with a sudden reduction in part of a household’s income. This is particularly important given the research which indicates that households with at least one disabled child are far more likely to be in poverty.


  • We are not aware of any evidence that suggests these amendments create any further particular inequalities for this protected characteristic.
  • We consider that setting a period for re-determination where the First-tier Tribunal decides that a re-determination request has been made in such form as the Scottish Ministers require, will have a positive impact. It will provide certainty for children and their families about how long Social Security Scotland has to complete a re-determination.
  • Short-term assistance is not available in the reserved social security system and is another example of where Scottish Ministers are removing barriers to challenging decisions in the Scottish social security system. The intention of STA is to ensure that an individual is not discouraged from challenging a decision or accessing administrative justice by having to manage, for a period, with a reduced income.
  • Extending the scenarios where short-term assistance is payable and providing clarity around how it is ended will enable people to feel more confident in seeking administrative justice. This is particularly important given that in Scotland there are higher levels of child material deprivation in households containing a disabled person, at 20% compared to households without a disabled person (at 8%).[51]


  • We are not aware of any evidence that suggests these amendments create any further particular inequalities for this protected characteristic.
  • There is an overrepresentation of males in the young prison population[52]. Clarifying the date when payment of the care component will stop when an individual is admitted into a care home, or legal detention will likely benefit more young disabled males. This will however not disadvantage female children and young people.
  • The changes being made will have a positive impact regardless of sex or gender on young disabled people in Scotland. It will remove ambiguity around the date when payment of the care component will stop, and provide children and young people and their families with clear information about their entitlement.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Reassignment

  • When engaging with young people in the LGBTI+ community, we were told that 17-18 was the most common age to ‘come out’, including leaving the family home. This was clearly already a period of extreme stress and difficulty for many emotionally and financially.
  • For individuals in this group, allowing for children and young people to remain on Child Disability Payment past the age of 18 in some exceptional circumstances may have a negative impact. The reason being is, if they were to transfer to adult services at age 16, they would likely still be living in the family home and have support to complete the application for Adult Disability Payment or PIP. For individuals who have had to leave the family home, they will need to apply for disability assistance on their own at a time when they will likely be facing other significant changes and decisions as they enter adulthood.
  • We are aware that there is no one-size-fits-all ‘perfect’ age at which to transition to adult services for young people in Scotland. We have consulted widely on extending the upper age limit for CDP, both with our stakeholder organisations and with the public during the consultation period. We will continue to monitor and consult with this group so as to mitigate any unintended consequences. It is anticipated overall though that the introduction of CDP will have a positive effect on this group.
  • In relation to case transfer, we have not identified any particular barriers resulting from our policy approach which may affect people with the protected characteristic of sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

Marriage and Civil Partnership

  • We have not identified any particular barriers resulting from our policy approach which may affect people with the protected characteristic of marriage or civil partnership.


  • We are aware of the particular barriers faced by people belonging to ethnic minorities in applying for disability benefits, especially those with English as a second language as they may face difficulties in accessing or understanding their entitlements due to language or other communication barriers. To address this, work has been undertaken with ethnic minorities alongside the main Experience Panels as part of our Benefit Take-up Strategy.
  • Furthermore, Social Security Scotland will create a range of CDP stakeholder resources and content in accessible formats that will be proactively supplied to relevant stakeholder organisations through the National Stakeholder Engagement team, for organisations to distribute to people in local communities. The languages we proactively translate materials into were selected through stakeholder consultation. These are: BSL, Farsi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Urdu, Gaelic, Polish, Arabic, braille and easy read formats.
  • The impact of the regulations should positively impact on ethnic minorities and foreign nationals, especially in relation to the provision that allows Scottish Ministers to stop payment of assistance during a temporary absence that goes beyond 13/26 weeks, as appropriate, rather than end entitlement. It will do this by minimising the number of times children and young people will need to re-apply for CDP.
  • We know, that for many people, having to apply for disability benefits can be stressful. In submissions to a 2019 Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee inquiry into benefits take-up, some of the most common reasons for low benefit take-up mentioned were complexity and lack of knowledge, followed by administrative barriers[53]. This change seeks to break down some of the complexities and administrative barriers and reducing stress and anxiety for children, young people and their families or carers.
  • Social Security Scotland will produce communications materials in other languages on request. Social Security Scotland communications will work with community radio and foreign language press to provide messaging on CDP and case transfer to communities. In some circumstances printed marketing materials may not be the right way to engage with these communities and where this is the case we will provide an engagement approach through work carried out by the National Stakeholder Engagement and Local Delivery functions of the Agency.
  • Only those deemed to be “ordinarily resident” in Scotland on the day their case is reviewed for transfer will be subject to the transfer process. This will likely impact those that live more transient lifestyles, especially those regularly moving between Scotland and other parts of the UK, more so than those with a more settled lifestyle.
  • This residence requirement is therefore more likely to impact on the gypsy/traveller community. However, we do not have sufficient data to determine how many of the just over 4,000 people in Scotland (0.1% of the population) who identified their ethnic group as “White: Gypsy/Traveller”[54] regularly travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK. As a result, it is difficult to determine what, if any, negative impact this may have on this community.
  • We were informed anecdotally that Gypsy/Travellers operate within the ‘cash economy’ and that they are more likely to have a post office account than a bank account. This can be problematic in terms of having benefits paid.
  • We recognise that the payment method will be important for some people and in particular Gypsy/Traveller communities. In addition to Post Office and Credit Union accounts, payments can be made using iMovo which is a secure digital voucher system that can be delivered to individuals in several media (SMS, email). These can be redeemed at one of 2850 PayPoint outlets in Scotland. This has also been found to be useful for young adults who have not yet opened a bank account.

Religion or belief

  • We have not identified any particular barriers resulting from our policy approach which may affect people with the protected characteristic of religion or belief.



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