Disability assistance | CPAG

Disability assistance

Date: 
09 July 2021

Personal independence payment, disability living allowance and attendance allowance are transferring to the Scottish Government. If you are already on one of these benefits you'll continue to get it but if you live in Scotland it will be paid by Social Security Scotland, the 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 is 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 is called child disability payment. Social Security Scotland will start taking applications for child disability payment from 26 July 2021 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 claims from autumn 2021.

Read more from CPAG on child disability payment.

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.

Young people in Scotland who get disability living allowance and who turned 16 on or after 1 September 2020 are not invited to claim personal independence payment when they turn 16 and can continue getting disability living allowance up to the age of 18. However, they can 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.