This Equality Impact Assessment has found that the introduction of these amendments to the principal regulations for Child Disability Payment, Adult Disability Payment, Adult Disability Payment transitional provisions, and Carer’s Allowance will have a positive impact on the people of Scotland, including individuals who fall under the following protected characteristics.
The Scottish Health Survey 2021 provides an accurate estimate of the number of disabled children and young people in Scotland. Within the 0-15 age group, 21% of children have a longstanding illness. For young people aged 16-24, 26% of young people have a longstanding illness.
In 2021, there were just over 900,000 children aged 15 and below in Scotland and about 225,000 young people aged between 16 and 19. In November 2021, prior to the wholesale start of case transfer from Disability Living Allowance for children to Child Disability Payment, there were just under 44,000 children entitled to Disability Living Allowance in Scotland. Of these, there were around 3,900 were aged between 0-5, just over 19,000 were aged between 5-10, and almost 21,000 individuals were between the ages of 11-15.
Across the period 26 July 2021 to 31 December 2022, 42% of the part 1 applications were made for children aged 5-10, whilst 31% were in the 11 – 15 age group and 26% in the 0-4 age group. 
We know that many disabled young people transition between child and adult services at age 16. We have already established Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment in a way that helps ensure that young people aged 16-18 will not have a gap, or lose their entitlement to Child Disability Payment whilst waiting for their Adult Disability Payment application to be processed. This has a positive impact on disabled young people by reducing the anxiety and challenges at this difficult time for them and their families. It also helps mitigate any further drop in household income at a time when other child benefits and respite care may stop.
Individuals in receipt of Child Disability Payment can make an application for Adult Disability Payment any time between the age of 16 and 18 and will become entitled to Adult Disability Payment from the date that a determination is made on their Adult Disability Payment application. We are therefore amending the Adult Disability Payment Regulations to enable the payment cycles of individuals moving from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment to be maintained, meaning that they will receive their Adult Disability Payment on the same date their Child Disability Payment was previously paid.
We believe that this will have a positive impact on individuals as it will ensure a more straightforward journey for those individuals moving from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment at an already challenging point for many young people.
Furthermore, there is currently provision within the Child Disability Payment Regulations to provide Child Disability Payment recipients with enough time to make an application for Adult Disability Payment where their award has transferred from Disability Living Allowance for Children. This also applies where they have made a cross border move to Scotland and were due to turn 18 immediately after Adult Disability Payment launched nationally. Without this provision, some individuals would only have hours to submit their Adult Disability Payment application before their Child Disability Payment would end.
The Regulations entitle all Child Disability Payment recipients whose award has transferred from Disability Living Allowance to stay on Child Disability Payment until the age of 19. However we are now at a point in the case transfer process where we know all Disability Living Allowance recipients over age 16 have been transferred, are receiving appropriate communications about making an application for Adult Disability Payment and have adequate time to submit their Adult Disability Payment application. Accordingly, we are amending the Child Disability Payment Regulations to limit the extension of entitlement to 19 to those individuals who turn 18 on or before 31st December 2023.
We consider that this change will have a positive impact as it will ensure that the group of case transferees approaching 18 who we intended to protect continue to be protected. It also means that, following these amendments, all young people who are aged 18 after 31 December 2023, regardless of whether an individual was originally in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or not, will be subject to the same rules regarding receipt of Child Disability Payment over the age of 18.
As of 31 December 2022, it is estimated that 54,375 children and young people were in receipt of Child Disability Payment. Of this total, 13,005 were new applicants and 41,370 were people who had their award transferred to Child Disability Payment.
As of the 31 October 2022, 3,470 people were in receipt of Adult Disability
Payment. Of this total, 3,135 people were new applicants and 335 were people who had their award transferred from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Personal Independence Payment.
As described in the ‘background’ section above, we believe that the changes we are making to ensure a smooth transition for individuals moving between Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment will have a positive impact on disabled people in Scotland.
By maintaining the payment cycles of persons moving between these forms of disability assistance, we are ensuring that they do not have any gap in payment which will protect their passported benefits. It will also reduce disruption to their direct debits, bills and other payments.
Furthermore we are making changes to the principal Regulations for Carer’s Allowance to ensure that carers who are caring for a disabled person abroad who is in receipt of Child Disability Payment or Adult Disability Payment continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.
Some carers abroad can apply for Carer’s Allowance where their absence is temporary and has not lasted a continuous period beyond 4 weeks. This also applies where the absence is to care for a severely disabled person who is temporarily absent from the Common Travel Area (CTA).
We have identified a gap in the amendments which were made to the principal regulations for Carer’s Allowance as a consequence of the introduction of Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment, specifically that these were not added to the list of qualifying benefits in these circumstances. We are therefore amending these Regulations to include references to Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment in the relevant criteria.
We believe that this will have a positive impact on disabled individuals and those caring for disabled people as it will ensure that carers who are caring for someone in receipt of Child Disability Payment or Adult Disability Payment while abroad are able to receive Carer’s Allowance ensuring that they are treated consistently with those caring for someone in receipt of Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
Marriage and civil partnership
Although the Scottish Government does not require assessment against this protected characteristic unless the policy or practice relates to work, for example Human Resource policies and practices, we have considered this and not identified any particular barriers resulting from our policy approach which may affect people with the protected characteristic of marriage or civil partnership.
Pregnancy and maternity
There is not sufficient data available to assess the impact of these amendments in terms of pregnancy and maternity but we haven’t identified any impact on people with this protected characteristic. Ensuring continuity and minimising disruption relating to payment dates will particularly benefit people with dependents as they may have additional bills, direct debits or scheduled payments.
There is not sufficient data available to assess the impact of these amendments on individuals because of their race but we haven’t identified any impact on people with this protected characteristic.
Religion and belief
There is not sufficient data available to assess the impact of these amendments on individuals because of their religion and belief but we haven’t identified any impact on people with this protected characteristic.
There is not sufficient data to determine the full impact of these amendments on individuals because of their sex, however we are aware that a larger percentage of carers in Scotland are female than male so we consider that the amendment that we are making to the principal regulations for Carer’s Allowance may impact positively on more women than men.
Sexual orientation and gender reassignment
There is not sufficient data available to assess the impact of these amendments on people who have the protected characteristic of sexual orientation and gender reassignment however we do not foresee any impact on this protected group. However, 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 and that this was a period of extreme stress and difficulty for many young people emotionally and financially. Smoothing the Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment journey for young people and maintaining their payment cycles will provide further financial stability at this time.
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