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Short-term Assistance

This advice applies to Scotland

What is Short-term Assistance

Short-term Assistance is a payment you can get if your Child or Adult Disability Payment has been reduced or stopped and you’ve asked for that decision to be looked at again.

You won’t have to pay the Short-term Assistance back, even if Social Security Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) decides not to change the decision to reduce or stop your disability payment. 

Read more about asking for a re-determination or appeal.

Who can get Short-term Assistance

You can get Short-term Assistance if you were getting Child or Adult Disability Payment and:

  • your payment was stopped or reduced
  • you have asked for a re-determination or an appeal of the decision to stop or reduce your payment

You cannot get Short-term Assistance if your first application for Child or Adult Disability Payment was refused or you got a lower rate than you expected. 

You also cannot get Short-term Assistance if:

  • you were getting Child Disability Payment and the child has moved into a care home, boarding school or legal detention and you stop getting the care component. Read more about the care component of Child Disability Payment
  • you were getting Adult Disability Payment and you've moved into a care home or legal detention and you stop getting the daily living component. Read more about the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment.

If you've moved to England, Wales or Northern Ireland

If you’ve moved to England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can carry on getting Child or Adult Disability Payment for 13 weeks and then it will stop. This is to give you time to apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

You can’t get Short-term Assistance if you're challenging the decision to stop your disability payment after you’ve been living in another part of the UK for more than 13 weeks.

If you don’t agree with Social Security Scotland’s decision about your entitlement to a disability payment for the first 13 weeks after your move, you can get Short-term Assistance while you challenge that decision.

Read more about the rules on living in Scotland for Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment.

Find out more about re-determinations and appeals.

How to apply for Short-term Assistance

You can apply for Short-term Assistance by:

  • ticking the box on the re-determination form 
  • ticking the box on the appeal form
  • phoning or emailing Social Security Scotland.

Social Security Scotland's contact details are:

Social Security Scotland 
General Enquiries
PO Box 10301
Dundee
DD1 9FW

Phone: 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
British Sign Language: contactSCOTLAND app by video relay
Website: www.mygov.scot

If you didn’t apply for Short-term Assistance when you applied for a re-determination or an appeal, you can still do this by contacting Social Security Scotland. You can apply at any point until the re-determination is made or the appeal is decided. 

How much is Short-term Assistance

Short-term Assistance is the difference between the amount of disability payment you were getting and the new amount that Social Security Scotland has decided to pay you.

If you get both components of a disability payment, you can only get Short-term Assistance if the total amount of the payment that you get has gone down.

Example

You were getting £126.35 Child Disability Payment a week. This was made up of the higher rate mobility component of £64.50 a week and the middle rate care component of £61.85 a week. 

On review, your Child Disability Payment is reduced to £116.85 a week. This is because the mobility component has been reduced to the lower rate of £24.45 a week. The care component has increased to the higher rate of £92.40 a week. 

Your total award has gone down by £9.50, even though one of the components has gone up. £126.35 minus £116.85 is £9.50.

If you ask for a re-determination and Short-term Assistance, you’ll get £9.50 a week Short-term Assistance. This means that you’ll still be getting £126.35 a week while your re-determination is being carried out. This is made up of your new award of £116.85 plus £9.50 Short-term Assistance.

Social Security Scotland will send you a letter telling you how much Short-term Assistance you’ll be paid.

You’ll be paid Short-term Assistance in the same way as you’re paid your disability payment.

If you’re getting other benefits or help, some of them might change or stop when your disability payment changes or stops even if you get Short-term Assistance.

When is Short-term Assistance paid from

Short-term Assistance is paid from the earliest of the following dates:

  • the day that Social Security Scotland receives your request for a re-determination
  • the day that Social Security Scotland receives your request for an appeal 
  • the day that the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) sets aside the decision of Social Security Scotland not to accept your request for a redetermination 
  • the day that you asked for permission to make a late appeal
  • the day that the First-tier Tribunal sets aside the decision that the First-tier Tribunal made about your disability payment after a review of that decision.

If you apply for Short-term Assistance after you asked for a re-determination or an appeal, you’ll be awarded Short-term Assistance from the date Social Security Scotland received your request for a redetermination or appeal, not the date that you applied for Short-term Assistance.

In some cases, Social Security Scotland might not accept your request for a re-determination. For example, this might happen if you make a late request for a re-determination. In these cases, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber).

If you've applied for Short-term Assistance in this situation and the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) has allowed your re-determination to go ahead, you’ll be awarded Short-term Assistance from the date of the First-tier Tribunal decision to allow the re-determination.

When does Short-term Assistance stop

Short-term Assistance stops on the day:

  • Social Security Scotland make the re-determination
  • the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) makes a decision about your appeal
  • the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) decides to refuse to give you permission to make a late appeal
  • you withdraw your application to appeal.

If you get Short-term Assistance while a re-determination is being decided, it will stop when the re-determination is made. If you don't agree with the re-determination, you can appeal. If you appeal, you can apply again for Short-term Assistance while your appeal is being dealt with. 

You don’t have to pay back any Short-term Assistance, even if Social Security Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) decides not to change the decision to reduce or stop your disability payment. 

If Social Security Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) decides that your disability payment should be increased instead of being reduced or stopped, Social Security Scotland might owe you some disability payment. If this happens, Social Security Scotland will take away any Short-term Assistance they've paid you from the amount of disability payment they owe you.

If your application for Short-term Assistance is turned down

If your application for Short-term Assistance is turned down, you can ask for this decision to be looked at again. This is called asking for a 're-determination'. 

You usually have to ask for a re-determination within 42 days of the day you were told you weren't going to get any Short-term Assistance.

Read more about asking for a re-determination.

If you were overpaid a disability payment

In some cases, you might be paid more disability payment than you're entitled to. This is called an 'overpayment'.

For example, if you move to live in another part of the UK, you need to tell Social Security Scotland within 13 weeks. If you don't, you'll be paid more disability payment than you're entitled to.

Social Security Scotland might ask you to pay back the overpayment by making a deduction from your disability payment every month.

If your disability payment is then reduced or stopped and you challenge that decision, the deduction will carry on being taken from any Short-term Assistance that you get.

Read more about overpayments of Scottish benefits.

Other benefits or help you can get

If you get Child or Adult Disability Payment, you might be able to get extra money from other benefits or help with travel. For example, you might be able to get a free bus pass.

Read more about the extra benefits and help you can get while on Child Disability Payment or on Adult Disability Payment.

If you’re getting Short-term Assistance while challenging a decision about a disability payment, you’ll still be eligible for:

  • a bus pass for a child and 1 companion
  • a blue badge
  • a council tax discount for severe mental impairment
  • council tax reduction disability premiums.

If you’re getting Short-term Assistance, you might not be able to carry on getting some other benefits or help. If your disability payment has been reduced or stopped, this could affect:

  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Universal Credit
  • Carer’s Allowance.

Read more about changes in circumstances if you get Child Disability Payment or Adult Disability Payment.

Get help with Short-term Assistance

If you need help with Short-term Assistance, get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

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