Information

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 Department for Work and Pensions 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.

Our approach has also been informed by a Consultation on Disability Assistance which ran from 5 March 2019 to 28 May 2019. We published our response to the consultation analysis report in October 2019. We are grateful for the positive way in which organisations and individuals have engaged with us.

We are delivering two forms of disability assistance:

We assumed responsibility for these benefits alongside Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in April 2020. However, due to the impact on the Scottish Government, Social Security Scotland and our public services of managing Scotland through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make changes to the launch dates for these forms of disability assistance.

Disability benefits will continue to be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) using Agency Agreements until we begin delivery of each form of assistance.

Policy position papers

We have published a series of social security policy position papers on the development of the devolved benefits in Scotland. These papers provide more information on the reasons for our approach to these benefits.

Child Disability Payment (CDP)

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.

Apply for Child Disability Payment on mygov.scot.

Eligibility

This benefit is for 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
  • qualifying children aged three months or over will be entitled to a payment for their care. Children over three years old can also get a payment to help with their mobility needs

We have extended eligibility for CDP from 16 years to 18 years, for young people already in receipt of assistance before turning 16. This will help families during what can be a challenging time transitioning from child to adult services. Further information about eligibility can be found on mygov.scot.

Entitlement decisions

Social Security Scotland makes decisions about entitlement for CDP using the applicant’s account of their circumstances and existing supporting information. Face-to-face assessments are not used.

Examples of supporting information include:

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

If it is not possible to make a decision from the information available, a case manager may visit a client at home to gather additional information. Social Security Scotland will assume responsibility, where requested, for gathering information from various sources suggested by the individual. There will be no hierarchy of information, with all relevant sources of information having equal weight.

Assistance rates

It is our intention that the rate of all forms of Disability Assistance will remain the same as the current rate of the equivalent UK disability benefit. The rate of Disability Assistance will increased in line with inflation each year.

The weekly amounts of CDP in 2021/22 are:

Care component                                                          Mobility component 

Highest £92.40                                                               Higher £62

Middle £61.85                                                                 Lower £24.45

Lowest £24.45

Accessible vehicle leases and equipment

People who get the higher rate of the mobility component of CDP can transfer either the whole or part of the money they get for the mobility component to access the Accessible Vehicles and Equipment Scheme. This new Scottish scheme provides a service similar to the current Motability scheme, with a range of cars, wheelchair accessible vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs on affordable leasing terms, with a range of adaptations at little or no cost. Clients who have an existing Motability lease will be able to retain their vehicle until the end of that lease.

Availability

Social Security Scotland began accepting new applications from across Scotland on 29 November 2021. Children and young people in Scotland who already get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from DWP do not need to apply for CDP.

Adult Disability Payment (ADP)

ADP (formerly known as Disability Assistance for Working-age People) supports working age people with a disability or long term ill-health and to mitigate some of the extra costs they incur as a result of having a disability or long term condition.

ADP will replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Our immediate priority is ensuring that people in Scotland in receipt of PIP experience a safe and secure transition to ADP. However, we have identified a number of improvements and we have co-designed the entire process from application to award with input from people who have direct experience of the current system.

Apply for Adult Disability Payment on mygov.scot.

Eligibility

This is for people who meet the following criteria:

  • people who are age 16 to state pension age (which in 2022 will be 66) and
  • people 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 a person is terminally ill these qualifying periods do not apply

Entitlement decisions

Social Security Scotland makes decisions about entitlement for ADP using the applicants account of their circumstances and 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

We are significantly reducing the number of face-to-face assessments and will only ask someone to undertake a face-to-face assessment when it is the only practicable way to make a decision.

We have consulted on the circumstances in which Social Security Scotland can decide that a face-to-face assessment is necessary.

Assistance rates

It is our intention that the rate of all forms of disability assistance will remain the same as the current rate of the equivalent UK disability benefit. The rate of disability assistance will increase in line with inflation each year.

The weekly amounts of ADP in 2022/23 are: 

Daily living component                          Mobility component

Standard Rate £61.85                               Standard rate £24.45
Enhanced rate £92.40                               Enhanced rate £64.50

Accessible vehicle leases and equipment

People who get the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment can transfer either the whole or part of the money they get for the mobility component to access the Accessible Vehicles and Equipment Scheme. This new Scottish scheme provides a service similar to the current Motability scheme, with a range of cars, wheelchair accessible vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs on affordable leasing terms, with a range of adaptations at little or no cost. Clients who have an existing Motability lease will be able to retain their vehicle until the end of that lease.

Availability

Adult Disability Payment (ADP), opened for new applications in pilot areas on 21 March 2022:

  • phase one of the Adult Disability Payment started in Perthshire and Kinross, City of Dundee and Western Isles on 21 March 2022
  • phase two of the Adult Disability Payment pilot takes place in Perthshire and Kinross, City of Dundee, Western Isles, Angus, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire from 20 June 2022
  • phase three of the Adult Disability Payment pilot takes place in Perthshire and Kinross, City of Dundee, Western Isles, Angus, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Fife, City of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire from 25 July 2022

Further council areas will be introduced in phases until Adult Disability Payment rolls out nationwide from August 2022.

Individuals with ongoing awards of PIP or DLA do not need to apply for Adult Disability Payment. Their awards will be transferred automatically to the new Scottish system from August 2022, with no break in entitlement or payment.

Pension Age Disability Payment

Pension Age Disability Payment (formerly known as Disability Assistance for Older People) supports older people who have a disability that means they need assistance with looking after themselves, or supervision to keep them safe.

Eligibility

This is for people who meet the following criteria:

  • people who are state pension age and over and
  • who have had their condition for at least six months
  • and require additional care

It is anticipated that eligibility rules for Pension Age Disability Payment will remain broadly similar to AA.

Entitlement decisions

Social Security Scotland will make decisions about entitlement for Pension Age Disability Payment using the applicant’s account of their circumstances and existing supporting information.

Face-to-face assessments will not be held. 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, where necessary, 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 the equivalent UK disability benefit. The rate of assistance will increase in line with inflation each year.

Availability

We have delayed the introduction of Pension Age Disability Payment in light of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will update this page when more details about Pension Age Disability Payment become available.

Terminal illness

Social Security Scotland will ensure that terminally ill individuals are provided with the support they need, when they need it.

The judgement as to whether a person should be considered terminally ill for disability assistance purposes will be made by clinicians, based on guidance prepared by the Chief Medical Officer and is a clear change from the time limited definition which the UK Social Security System currently uses.

Where a client is certified as terminally ill when they apply for Disability Assistance ‘special rules’ will apply.

This means that applications will be treated differently by Social Security Scotland in the following ways:

  • there will be no qualifying period. An individual is not required to have the condition for any length of time before they are eligible under special rules
  • once verification has been given that the person is considered to have a terminal illness, for the purpose of entitlement to disability payments, there will be no requirement for an individual to undergo any further assessment
  • awards will be calculated, at the latest, from the date of application by the patient
  • individuals who qualify under special rules will be automatically entitled to the highest rate of the component part(s) (care and mobility) of whichever benefit they are entitled to
  • individuals who qualify under special rules will not be subject to review

For further information please see the Terminal Illness and Disability Assistance: policy position paper.

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