Benefits for disabled people and people with ill health

We are reforming assessment procedures for disability and ill-health benefits so that they are more effective, less stressful, and never carried out by for-profit companies.

We set up a Disability and Carers' Benefits Expert Advisory Group to listen to people who use the current UK-wide social security system, to help us create a better one in Scotland. Part of their remit is to work with the Experience Panels. Read about the engagement work we are doing for social security.

The benefits available, and the actions we are taking to improve them, are detailed below.

Benefits for disabled people and people with ill health

The benefits currently available for people living with a disability or long-term illness are:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA): for disabled people who need help with mobility or care costs. DLA is still the main benefit for people aged three to 16, but is now closed to new applicants aged 16 to 64 years (they should apply for the PIP instead). People older than 65 who were on DLA in 2010 before their 65th birthday will continue to receive it, but new applicants older than 65 should apply for the Attendance Allowance instead
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP): helps people aged 16 to 64 with some of the extra costs caused by long-term illness or disability (replaces the DLA)
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB): for people who are ill or disabled as a result of an accident or disease caused by work, or while they were on an approved employment training scheme or course
  • Attendance Allowance: support for people aged 65 or older with a physical or mental disability (replaces the DLA)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA): support for people who have been unable to work for at least 28 weeks in a row because of illness or disability (now closed to new applicants)

In addition, we are responsible for administering the following disability-related discounts:

How we are improving disability and ill-health benefits

We will protect disability benefits and ensure that they remain non-means tested.

We will introduce long-term awards for existing long-term conditions that are unlikely to change, and ensure people get the right level of award as time goes on.

When disability benefits are transferred, any child in receipt of DLA will be given an automatic award of that DLA to age 18 to allow for continuity for families whilst the transfer of benefits takes place.

We will also consult on how people on disability benefits can best access adapted vehicles, aids and appliances.

Policy position paper

Motability vehicle leasing scheme

The Motability scheme allows disabled people to spend a portion of their DLA and/or PIP to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter.

Customers choose a vehicle from the Motability range through a local car dealer participating in the scheme, and from then on a portion of the DLA and/or PIP is transferred directly to Motability rather than the claimant. It is only open to people who get the highest or enhanced mobility amount of payment for DLA or PIP

The lease usually runs for three years and includes insurance, road tax, servicing, tyres and breakdown cover.