Disability assistance | CPAG

Disability assistance

Date: 
09 December 2020

Personal independence payment, disability living allowance and attendance allowance will transfer to the Scottish Government. When they transfer, you'll continue to get benefit but if you live in Scotland it will be paid by Social Security Scotland, the new agency delivering Scottish benefits. The Scottish Government plans to make changes to how these benefits operate as it develops the new disability assistance.

Disability living allowance for children will be the first of these benefits to transfer, followed by personal independence payment and then attendance allowance. The new Scottish benefit replacing disability living allowance for children will be called child disability payment. The plan to introduce child disability payment in summer 2020 was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Scottish Government has announced that Social Security Scotland will start taking applications for Scottish child payment from summer 2021. Initially this will just be in three local authority areas (Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles) and then it will be rolled out across Scotland for new applicaitons from autumn 2021. Read the Scottish Government announcement on this.

Personal independence payment will be replaced by a benefit called adult disability payment. This will be piloted from spring 2022, with a roll out from summer 2022. Attendance allowance will be replaced by a benefit called pension age disability payment, with no dates announced yet for when applications for this will start. Read the Scottish Government announcement on these developments.

Eligibility

There will be few changes to the eligibility rules at the point that disability benefits transfer.  The Scottish Government is consulting on changes it might make in the longer term.

One planned change to eligibility is that you'll be able to get disability living allowance until you reach age 18 instead of 16. Currently, young people in Scotland who get disability living allowance who are due to turn 16 from September 2020 will not be invited to claim personal independence payment and will be able to continue getting disability living allowance up to the age of 18. However, they will also be able to choose to apply to the DWP for personal independence payment before reaching 18 until the Scottish Government launches child disability payment, if they choose to do so.

Another planned change is that you'll be able to get maximum entitlement if you're terminally ill whatever your life expectancy. At present, maximum support for care needs is for terminally ill people with six months' life expectancy.

What you'll get

If you get personal independence payment, disability living allowance or attendance allowance at the point they become Scottish benefits, you'll see no change to the amount of your benefit.

How you'll apply and be assessed

Now, you claim personal independence payment, disability living allowance and attendance allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions. When they become Scottish benefits, you'll apply to Social Security Scotland.

Under Social Security Scotland, assessments won't be done by private companies. The Scottish Government plans to have fewer face-to-face assessments and longer awards. You could be asked to attend an assessment but you'll be told why that's the only practical way to get the information needed.

How you'll be paid

Now, your disability benefit is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions into your bank account, building society or credit union account.  When it becomes a Scottish benefit, it will be paid by Social Security Scotland.