Adult Disability Payment: consultation analysis

Our analysis of responses to the consultation on Adult Disability Payment regulations undertaken between 21 December 2020 and 15 March 2021.


Payability and Residency Variations

Regulations 27-29 set out how time spent residing in certain accommodation (such as care homes or as a hospital in-patient) would impact Adult Disability Payments, as well as the related exclusionary criteria. Regulation 30 outlines the impact of legal detention on the payments. The period of residence in such accommodation (including clarification over the start and end date of residence), and the payment of Adult Disability Payment between two periods of residence is covered in Regulations 31-32.

While 63% agreed that the regulations reflected this policy intent, this was one of the least supported regulations.

Number of Respondents % of Respondents Valid %
Yes 58 46% 63%
No 17 13% 18.5%
Don't know 17 13% 18.5%
Missing 35 28% -
Total 127 100% 100%

Respondents were generally concerned over the loss of payments in particular situations or for particular groups. Several were concerned about the impact that these regulations would have on individuals that needed recurring stays in hospital, and/or that the loss of Adult Disability Payments after 28 days could lead to longer-term impacts on an applicant's wellbeing. Respondents noted that applicants will have existing financial commitments and continuing needs whilst in a hospital/care home/in custody, and which if not met during this time would have a detrimental impact upon being discharged. Examples included paying for accommodation, their car/Motability agreement, mobility equipment, household bills, maintenance of community based services, specialist clothing, dietary requirements, etc.:

"They may lose accommodation that they are paying for and have nowhere to go back to when they get out of hospital or careā€¦ People rely on a certain level of income and when it is taken away arbitrarily during what is sure to be a very stressful time, people suffer and it makes more stress." (Individual)

Two organisations were also concerned that the potential for Adult Disability Payment to cease could result in individuals being reluctant, or turning down certain specialist in-patient treatments for fear of the financial implications.

One organisation urged that any costs incurred by these groups should be met by the Scottish Government, if possible, i.e. Ministers should ensure that alternative financial support is available for patients in these circumstances. It was suggested that this could be done on a discretionary and locally-administered basis.

Other respondents were concerned about the welfare of specific groups who could face further isolation and other negative impacts where establishments are unable to meet the individual's needs. For example, it was suggested that care homes were typically unable to cater for deaf peoples' communication needs, and that additional support/costs would still be incurred:

"There are no care homes that cater for the needs of deaf people, nor specialise or have adequate training in deaf awareness or sign language proficiency." (Deaf People's Organisation)

A few respondents highlighted that not all care home residents are disabled or elderly. These respondents noted that some younger people require the accessible/supported living environment, but they continue to work and maintain a level of independence. There was concern that such individuals would lose access to Adult Disability Payment, their car, and their independence under these regulations. It was also noted by two disabled people's organisations that the care home test period was typically six weeks, therefore it seemed inappropriate that Adult Disability Payments could be stopped prior to this ending.

One organisation suggested that disability benefits should continue, or that there should be a smooth transition to another, more suitable means of support (with 'Self-Directed Support' suggested as an option) to help ensure that people are not left in financial difficulty or isolated due to a change of circumstance. Others felt that a more flexible approach was required generally, and more specifically to support those with Motability agreements, or that the time period needed to be significantly extended before payments were stopped.

Unintended consequences were also highlighted. One respondent suggested that the break in eligibility for Adult Disability Payment during a period in hospital/care home could negatively affect an unpaid carers eligibility for Carers Allowance. Other respondents felt that the stoppage of Adult Disability Payment would impact other family members/housemates by reducing overall household income. Family members may also continue to face the costs of providing certain products etc. for the applicant during their stay in hospital/a care home/prison.

It should be noted that some felt that the regulations were fair, provided the establishments were able to provide the necessary care - although a few expressed doubts over the extent to which this could be provided currently:

"As long as these residential establishments maintain the needs of the individual." (Individual)



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