An update on disability assistance payments in Scotland

As the Scottish Government assumed responsibility for disability assistance payments on 1 April 2020, Social Security Scotland has been preparing to take over the delivery of disability benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for people in Scotland.

As Social Security Scotland takes over the delivery of the disability assistance payments, disabled people in Scotland will start to see Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) being replaced with two new allowances; Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment.

Child Disability Payment

Child Disability Payment will replace DLA for children aged 3 months to 18 years old.

It is expected that Social Security Scotland will begin accepting applications for the new Child Disability Payment, which replaces child DLA, in Perth and Kinross, Dundee City and Western Isles council areas from 26 July 2021. Social Security Scotland will begin accepting applications for Child Disability Payments in all other Scottish local authorities from 22 November 2021.

Social Security Scotland will then begin to transfer children and young people from DLA, paid by the DWP, to Child Disability Payments later in 2021. Social Security Scotland have said that there will be no need for these children and young people to re-apply or undergo a face-to-face assessment.

One noticeable change for Child Disability Payment is that children in Scotland will be able to remain entitled to this up to the age of 18. This is unlike the rest of the UK, where child DLA stops at 16, and children are then invited to apply for PIP. There will however still be the option at 16 to transfer to Adult Disability Payment.

Following this change in age criteria, children receiving DLA in Scotland currently approaching their 16th birthday will no longer be invited to apply for PIP. They will stay on DLA until Social Security Scotland transfers them on to Child Disability Payment, or they choose to apply for Adult Disability Payment instead (once Social Security Scotland starts delivering this).

Adult Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment, which replaces PIP, is expected to be introduced for working-age disabled people in Scotland from spring 2022 for new applications. Existing PIP clients will then be gradually transferred from the DWP to Social Security Scotland.

The Scottish Government have said that during the transfer period there will be no changes in the amount that is paid, no-one will have to reapply for their allowance, and no one will be reassessed.

Eligibility, application and assessments

The Scottish Government have said they will not make substantial changes to the eligibility criteria for disability assistance.

Once PIP and DLA transfer to the new Scottish disability assistance payments, new clients will need to apply to Social Security Scotland instead of the DWP. The Scottish Government has committed to having no face-to-face consultations for Child Disability Payment. For Adult Disability Payment, the Scottish Government has replaced assessments with consultations, and has committed to significantly reducing the number of face-to-face consultations. The Scottish Government says that awards will be longer to reduce the number of unnecessary reviews, with a focus on re-using existing supporting information to help make fairer, more robust decisions.

Motability Scheme customers

Motability Scheme customers living in Scotland can continue to exchange their higher rate mobility allowance, whether that be DLA or PIP now, or Adult or Child Disability Payment in the future, to lease a vehicle on the Scheme.

Once the transition from DLA and PIP to Child and Adult Disability Payments begins, plans are in place to make this a seamless transition, and customers shouldn’t experience any disruption to their lease.

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