News

2022 will be biggest year yet for new social security system

Published: 28 Dec 2021 00:00

Delivering support to thousands more.

The introduction of Adult Disability Payment and extension of Scottish Child Payment to children under 16 will see a major increase in the number of people eligible to receive Sottish benefits in 2022.

The Scottish Child Payment will increase to £20 from April, giving increased support to 111,000 children under the age of six. Its extension to children under 16 by the end of 2022, subject to the DWP making data available, will see the number of eligible children more than double to 400,000.

Adult Disability Payment, the twelfth benefit and most complex to be introduced so far, will replace the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment. It will be phased in from March, with nationwide rollout at the end of August.

To support this, Social Security Scotland is in the process of recruiting up to 2,000 people by autumn 2022 with the first new recruits set to start early in the New Year - the biggest expansion since its formation in 2018, creating jobs and a boost to local economies.

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said:

“2022 will be our biggest year yet in building a new social security system for Scotland with the powers we have.

“The major milestones of introducing Adult Disability Payment and extending Scottish Child Payment will be transformative for many people with a disability or health condition and for families on low incomes.

“By the end of 2022 we aim to have extended the Scottish Child Payment to all those under the age of 16 - subject to the DWP making data available - increasing eligibility to around 400,000 children.

“From April the doubling of our Scottish Child Payment will significantly help us to reduce child poverty and build a fairer society.

“The £20 payment per child per week will be four times what was originally asked for by anti-poverty campaigners and we hope to lift 40,000 Scottish children out of poverty in 2023/24.

“Applying for Adult Disability Payment from Social Security Scotland will be different to applying to the DWP, as we will deliver a much improved experience.

“There will be no private sector involvement, we have removed DWP-style assessments and any consultations that are necessary will be person centred and won’t include functional examinations. We’ll start from a position of trust. Also, we are offering a range of ways to make an application, including online, by post, over the phone or face-to-face; and, in contrast to the current DWP system, we’re removing the burden from individuals to provide supporting information - instead the onus will be on Social Security Scotland to collect the information we require. We’ll also fast-track clients who are facing a terminal illness and we will follow the judgement of clinicians instead of being tied to fixed periods of life expectancy.

“As well as the positive impact of paying benefits, Social Security Scotland is also growing as an employer. This rapid development is not only making a difference in our communities but is also creating long-term secure employment across the country, and a £280 million contribution to our wider economy - something we can all welcome.

“Scotland’s social security system is built on the values of dignity, fairness and respect, and these are the principles which will always guide us as we develop this important public service.”

Citizens Advice Scotland Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said:

“Citizens Advice Scotland supported the introduction and then doubling of the Scottish Child Payment because we know the difference it can make to families across the country. We’d encourage everyone eligible for the payment to apply and claim, that’s how our welfare state works – we all pay in and get the support we are entitled to when we need it. 

“With the cost of living starting to really bite people can get help and advice from the Citizens Advice network to see what support they are entitled to. We’ve been helping people for over 80 years and unlocked £147 million for people last year.”

Background:

Scottish Child Payment, which is unique in the UK, will be fully rolled out to children under the age of 16 by the end of 2022, subject to data on qualifying benefits being received from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Social Security Scotland was established in September 2018 and delivers 11 benefits – including seven which are brand new.

The introduction of Adult Disability Payment, in Spring 2022, will increase the number of benefits to 12 as Social Security Scotland starts to deliver more complex disability payments. 

The organisation will ultimately make payments to 1.8 million people – around one in three people in Scotland

Phase One of the Adult Disability pilot takes place in Perthshire and Kinross, City of Dundee and Western Isles on 21 March 2022 and be phased in over the summer with the rollout nationwide from 29 August 2021

People who currently get disability benefits from Department for Work and Pensions will have their awards transferred to the new Scottish system in stages after the new benefits are introduced from summer 2022.

For more information, contact Social Security Scotland through web chat at mygov.scot/contact-social-security-Scotland/ or call the freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222.