New disability benefit for pensioners

Five council areas named as first to get Pension Age Disability Payment

Pensioners in five Scottish local authorities will be the first in the country eligible for a new disability benefit, subject to parliamentary approval of regulations.

From 21 October, Pension Age Disability Payment – the replacement for Attendance Allowance - will be piloted in Argyll & Bute, Highland, Aberdeen City, Orkney and Shetland.

The benefit will become available in 13 more local authority areas on 24 March next year before becoming available across Scotland by 22 April.  

Pension Age Disability Benefit is for people of pension age who have a disability or long-term health condition that means they need help looking after themselves or supervision to stay safe. 

It is not means-tested and is worth between £290 and £434 a month depending on the needs of the person who gets it.

Currently over 150,000 people in Scotland get Attendance Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions.

They do not need to take any action as their awards will be automatically moved  from the DWP to Social Security Scotland. This will happen in phases, with the first expected to be transferred in early 2025.

Pension Age Disability Payment was designed with the people who will be eligible for the benefit and those who support them. Improvements include a streamlined process for people to nominate a third party representative who can support them to communicate with Social Security Scotland.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: 

“In the midst of the cost of living crisis it is more important than ever that older people get the support they’re entitled to.

“We developed Pension Age Disability Payment by listening to the people who would be applying for it and those who support them. We made changes including making it easier for an eligible person to nominate a third party representative, something people told us was important for many older people.

“The pilot phase will allow us to put our different approach into practice, learning and improving before the benefit is rolled out across Scotland.

“If you think you might be eligible for support right now, I encourage you to apply for Attendance Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions.

“Anyone getting that benefit will automatically have their award transferred to Pension Age Disability Payment next year so there is no reason to wait.”


The Disability Assistance for Older People (Scotland) Regulations 2024

  • Pension Age Disability Payment will be available in the following areas from 24 March 2025:
  • Aberdeenshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • North Ayrshire
  • South Ayrshire
  • Na h-Eileanan Siar
  • Stirling
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Falkirk
  • Fife
  • Angus
  • Dundee City
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Moray
  • On 22 April, 2025, it will be available across all of Scotland.
  • Social Security Scotland can help people apply, with face to face support available from its team based in communities across the country.
  • Help is also available from independent advocacy service Voiceability who are funded by the Scottish Government to help disabled people applying for devolved benefits.
  • Social Security Scotland also has a separate, accelerated application process for people who are terminally ill. This is open to any eligible person who has a terminal diagnosis, no matter how long they’re expected to live. This is different to the DWP who only class someone as terminally ill if they are expected to live for 12 months or less. Eligible people automatically get the highest amount of Pension Age Disability Benefit.
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