This report is supplementary to the annual welfare reform report (June 2017), focusing on the impact of UK welfare policy on disabled people. The main focus is on the impact of the introduction of Personal Independence Payments and changes to Employment and Support Allowance.
This report brings together additional evidence and analysis of the financial and nonfinancial impact of these policies on the support available for disabled people in Scotland. The report also includes case studies of people affected by these policy changes which have been provided by Disability Agenda Scotland (DAS), Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
Some of the key findings of this report are that:
In Scotland, whilst 45% of those being re-assessed from DLA to PIP have seen (or are expected to see) an increase their award, 44% will initially (before mandatory reconsiderations and appeals) see their award reduced or removed completely.
Based on current DLA to PIP re-assessment outcomes, around 30,000 disabled people in Scotland could lose entitlement to non means-tested disability benefits due to re-assessment to PIP once full rollout is complete.
Around 1 in 5 people who previously claimed DLA and challenge the outcome of their PIP assessment will see their award increased following a mandatory reconsideration, whilst two thirds of appeals that are cleared at a hearing overturn the original decision in favour of the claimant.
Between 7,000 – 10,000 disabled people per year are set to be affected by the removal of the work-related activity component, losing up to £29 per week each year until the policy is fully rolled out.
Around 430 disabled people in Scotland were subject to an ESA sanction in the year to March 2017, with nearly half of those sanctioned recorded as having mental and behavioural disorders. Whilst 17% of individuals sanctioned since 2012, have been sanctioned for a period of over 3 months.
Without Scottish Government mitigation through Discretionary Housing Payments, over 40,000 disabled people claiming Employment and Support Allowance would lose around £12.50 per week (£650 per year) due to the bedroom tax.