Legislation to introduce Scotland’s new Adult Disability Payment, which replaces the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payments (PIP), was laid before the Scottish Parliament on 17th December. This benefit will open for new applications in pilot areas from 21 March 2022. The national rollout is scheduled for 29 August 2022.

 Adult Disability Payment will be the most complex and large scale Scottish benefit to be delivered since the Scottish Government gained some powers over social security.  The Scottish Government is firmly committed to doing things differently from the DWP and is introducing a new, simplified, empathetic system that works for the people of Scotland.

This benefit is forecast to reach up to 339,000 people once the entitlements of all Scottish PIP and DLA recipients are transferred from the DWP. People have found applying for DWP disability benefits stressful in the past, including repeated appeals before ultimately securing benefits they are entitled to. Some are put off from applying all together. That is why the Scottish Government listened to the experiences of those accessing disability benefits during the design of the new system. We are committed to doing things differently, with dignity and respect.

The Scottish Government is introducing an improved application process and, in contrast to the DWP system, is removing the burden from individuals to provide supporting information, so that the onus will instead be on Social Security Scotland to collect the information required.

Importantly, the Scottish Government are abolishing assessments in the form currently undertaken by the DWP. Social Security Scotland wants to make informed decisions on benefit entitlement which gets that decision right at the first time of asking. Another key difference in the new system will be around the definition of terminal illness – following the judgement of clinicians instead of being tied to artificial and notoriously difficult fixed requirements on assessing remaining life expectancy. Those with a terminal illness will be fast tracked for benefit approval rather than navigating a distressing process at the most challenging of times.

I very much welcome the roll out of this new benefit which will make a substantial difference for many of the constituents I serve.

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