Disability Assistance

We regard social security as a human right and we are committed to ensuring that those who are entitled to Disability Assistance are able to access it whilst being treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

Our overriding principle is that to develop a system of social security that works for the people of Scotland we must involve the people who will access it. Our approach to providing Disability Assistance, set out below, has been developed by listening to individuals who have a lived experience of the current social security system and organisations representing disabled people or people with long term health conditions. This input has been gathered through our innovative Experience Panels and the Disability and Carers' Benefits Expert Advisory Group.

As we continue to develop Scotland’s new social security system it is extremely important that we continue to receive input from individuals and we strongly encourage you to help shape social security by responding to our consultation on disability assistance in Scotland

We will deliver three new forms of disability assistance by the end of this parliamentary term:

We will take responsibility for Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in April 2020. IIDB will continue to be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) using an Agency Agreement until after this parliamentary term. This allows DWP to carry out functions on behalf of Scottish Ministers, and states what DWP is being asked to do. SDA will be delivered by DWP under an Agency Agreement. For more information on why we have taken this approach please see Scottish Government position papers on SDA and IIDB.

Read about our key commitments and a comparison of provision of disability assistance between the SG and the UK Governments

1. Disability Assistance for Children and Young People (DACYP)

This assistance aims to support children and young people with disabilities, as well as their families, to mitigate the increased costs they incur as a result of having a disability or long term condition.

Eligibility

Children and young people aged between three months and 18 years who have:

  • lived with a disability for at least three months and who can expect to continue to have this disability for at least six months - unless they are regarded as terminally ill
  • children aged three months or over will be entitled to claim the care component of the assistance. To claim the lower rate of the mobility component children will need to be at least five years old, and children will need to be at least three years old to claim the higher rate of mobility

We believe that extending eligibility from 16 years to 18 years, for those already in receipt of assistance before turning 16, will help families during what can be a challenging time transitioning from child to adult services.

It is currently anticipated that the eligibility rules for DACYP will otherwise remain similar to Child DLA. That means:

  • the lower rate care component will be payable where the child or young person requires assistance for some of the day or night
  • the middle care component will be payable where:
    • the child or young person requires frequent help or supervision during the day or at night; or
    • they require prolonged or repeated attention in connection with bodily functions from another person; or
    • they require a person to be awake during the night for a prolonged period or at frequent intervals to watch over them in order to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others; or
    • they undergo haemodialysis or intermittent peritoneal dialysis treatment at home at least twice a week
  • the highest rate care component will be payable where:
    • the child or young person requires help or supervision throughout both the day and night; or
    • they are terminally ill
  • the lower rate mobility component will be payable where:
    • the child or young person can walk but needs help or supervision out of doors
  • the highest rate mobility component will be payable where:
    • the child or young person is unable to walk, can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, could become very ill if they try to walk or have severe mental or visual disabilities

Entitlement decisions

Decisions about entitlement will be made using existing supporting information only and not through face-to-face assessments. Examples of supporting information include:

  • a social care needs assessment
  • a report from an educational psychologist
  • information from a parent

Social Security Scotland will assume responsibility for gathering information from various sources suggested by the individual. Consideration should be given to the supporting information that is most relevant in individual cases.

Assistance rates

It is our intention that the rate of all forms of Disability Assistance will remain the same as the current rate of benefit being replaced. Disability Assistance will be annually increased in line with inflation.

Based on 2018/2019 rates the weekly amounts of DACYP are: 

Care component                                                          Mobility component 

Highest £83.10                                                               Higher £58.00

Middle £55.65                                                                Lower £22.00

Lowest £22.00

Accessible vehicle leases and equipment

People who get the highest rate of the mobility component of DLA are able to transfer either the whole or part of the money they get for the mobility component to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair through the Motability Scheme.

We intend to ensure that there will be an equivalent Scottish scheme in place in advance of DACYP becoming available.

Availability

New claims will be accepted from summer 2020. For information on why we have chosen to deliver the different types of Disability Assistance in a gradual way please see Disability and carer benefit delivery: policy position paper.

2. Disability Assistance for Working-age People (DAWAP)

This form of assistance will replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Eligibility

Who is eligible:

  • individuals from age 16 to the state pension age (which in 2021 will be 65)
  • individuals who have difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) and
  • have had the physical or mental difficulty for at least 3 months and expect it to continue for at least 9 months. If an individual is terminally ill these qualifying periods do not apply

It is intended that the eligibility rules for DAWAP will remain largely the same as for PIP.

That means:

  • the standard rate “daily living” component is payable if the individual’s condition limits their ability to carry out everyday activities like eating or washing)
  • the enhanced rate “daily living” component is payable if the individual’s condition severely limits their ability to carry out everyday activities
  • the standard rate “mobility” component is payable if the individual’s condition limits their ability to move around or plan and follow journeys
  • the enhanced rate mobility component is payable if the individual’s condition severely limits their ability to move around or plan and follow journeys

Entitlement decisions

Decisions about entitlement will be made using existing supporting information where possible. Examples of supporting information include:

  • a social care needs assessment
  • a report from a community psychiatric nurse
  • information from a carer

Social Security Scotland will assume responsibility for gathering information from various sources suggested by the individual. Consideration should be given to the supporting information that is most relevant in individual cases.

Individuals will only be required to attend a face-to-face assessment when it is not feasible to make a decision about their entitlement. 

We are currently consulting on the circumstances in which Social Security Scotland can decide that a face to face assessment is necessary and encourage you to respond to the consultation

Assistance rates

It is our intention that the rate of all forms of Disability Assistance will remain the same as the current rate of benefit being replaced. Disability Assistance will be annually increased in line with inflation. Remaining consistent with the current rates will prevent a two-tier system existing between Scottish cases being provided by Social Security Scotland compared with those not yet transferred to the Scottish system.

Based on 2018/2019 rates the weekly amounts of DAWAP are: 

Daily living component                          Mobility component

Standard Rate 57.30                                  Standard rate £22.65
Enhanced rate £85.60                               Enhanced rate £59.75

Accessible vehicle leases and equipment

People who get the highest rate of the mobility component of DLA are able to transfer either the whole or part of the money they get for the mobility component to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair through the Motability Scheme.

We intend to ensure that there will be an equivalent Scottish scheme in place in advance of DAWAP becoming available. 

Availability

New claims will be accepted from early 2021. For information on why we have chosen to deliver the different types of Disability Assistance in a gradual way please see Disability and carer benefit delivery: policy position paper.

3. Disability Assistance for Older People (DAOP)

This assistance supports older people who have a disability impacting them to an extent where they require someone to help look after them.  

Eligibility

  • people who are aged 65 and over
  • who have had their condition for at least six months
  • and require additional care

It is anticipated that eligibility rules for DAOP will remain similar to AA, and so will be as follows:

  • the lower rate of assistance will be payable where an individual:
    • requires frequent attention or supervision throughout the day from another person, in connection with bodily functions, in order to avoid substantial danger; or
    • requires prolonged or repeated attention or supervision throughout the night from another person to avoid substantial danger; or
    • requires regular renal dialysis treatment of two or more sessions a week at home and requires the attendance or supervision of another person
  • the higher rate of assistance will be payable where an individual:
    • requires attention or supervision during both day and night; or
    • requires regular renal dialysis treatment of two or more sessions a week at home and requires the attendance or supervision of another person and further attention or supervision during the night

Entitlement decisions

Decisions about entitlement will be made using existing supporting information only and not through face-to-face assessments. Examples of supporting information include:

  • an occupational therapy assessment
  • a report from a district nurse
  • information from a partner

Social Security Scotland will assume responsibility for gathering information from various sources suggested by the individual. Consideration should be given to the supporting information that is most relevant in individual cases.

Assistance rates

It is our intention that the rate of all forms of Disability Assistance will remain the same as the current rate of benefit being replaced. Disability Assistance will be annually increased in line with inflation. Remaining consistent with the current rates will prevent a two-tier system existing between Scottish cases being provided by Social Security Scotland compared with those not yet transferred to the Scottish system.

Based on 2018/2019 rates the weekly amounts of DAOP are:

Lower rate  £57.30                                       Higher rate  £85.60  

Availability

New claims will be accepted in 2021. For information on why we have chosen to deliver the different types of Disability Assistance in a gradual way please see Disability and carer benefit delivery: policy position paper.

Policy position papers

We have published a series of social security policy papers setting out our position on the development of the devolved benefits in Scotland.