Stop to ‘traumatic’ disability assessments

New approach to ensure dignity, fairness and respect.

There will be no DWP style assessments to access disability assistance under the new Scottish social security system.

Decisions will be made using information gathered through the applications process including from health care providers

Should more detail be required to make decisions on an application for the new Adult Disability Payment, it will be gathered through a consultation. Such consultations will be based on a conversation between a healthcare professional employed by the Scottish Government and the client. There will be no private sector involvement in this process.

Most consultations will be by phone but can be face to face in a GP practice or even at home, whatever works best for the person applying. No-one will be asked to carry out tasks in order to prove the impact of their disability or health condition.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said:

“Two of our principles enshrined in law is that social security is a public service and an investment in people - it is there for all of us when and where we need it. So no one should ever experience stress when accessing the support they are entitled to.

“People who require disability assistance will already face a number of challenges and interacting with a benefit system shouldn’t become another one. That is why I am pleased to set out plans for Scotland’s new system – plans that will make sure that people are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

“We want people to feel that they have been treated well and fairly at every stage – from having an application form that is clear and easy to use right through to how we make sure someone is still able to access money when they want to appeal our decisions.

“Getting rid of degrading assessments that our Experience Panels told us were ‘traumatic and intrusive’ is the right thing to do. It is an obvious change but one that will make a massive difference to people.

“I’d like to thank the people who have worked with us to design this service – the volunteers on our Experience Panels and stakeholders. Together we will deliver a markedly different benefit system and create a public service that we can all be truly proud of.”



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