Annex E: Draft Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) summary
25. The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 (the 2018 Act) sets out the broad framework for the delivery of devolved social security in Scotland. On 1 April 2020, the Scottish Ministers took executive and legal competence for non-means tested disability benefits, including Disability Living Allowance for Children, Attendance Allowance and Personal Independence Payment.
26. These benefits will continue to be delivered during a transition period by the Department for Work and Pensions under the terms of an Agency Agreement with the Scottish Government to ensure the safe and secure transfer of United Kingdom disability benefits to Scotland.
27. The Scottish Government intends to replace Disability Living Allowance for Children, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance with new forms of assistance under the 2018 Act. These new benefits will be delivered by Social Security Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers with determinations carrying a right of appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland's Social Security Chamber.
28. The Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations set out how we will deliver our replacement for Personal Independence Payment; Adult Disability Payment. It will replace Personal Independence Payment for people living in Scotland between the ages of 16 and state pension age.
29. This Child Rights and Wellbeing Assessment sets out the Scottish Government's analysis of the impact of the policies described in the consultation document on children and young people's wellbeing who may be affected by the implementation of Adult Disability Payment. In this context it is considering the impact of Adult Disability Payment on 16-18 year olds. It also considers the wider impact on children living in families where an adult receives Adult Disability Payment.
30. The delivery of Adult Disability Payment in Scotland is anticipated to have a broadly positive impact on children's rights and welfare. We are delivering person centred disability assistance rooted in the values of providing disabled people and their families with dignity, fairness and respect.
31. The Scottish Government has developed policy related to Adult Disability Payment through engagement with people with lived experience of accessing disability benefits, third sector stakeholders, and other interested parties. This consultation will seek feedback on how the policy intent has been reflected in the draft Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) regulations.
Who was involved in assessing the Child Rights and Wellbeing impact?
32. In July 2016 the Scottish Government launched a public consultation to support the development of a framework that would become the 2018 Act. The questions relating to disability benefits received over 200 responses with an even split between organisational and individual respondents.
33. The Scottish Government has set up Social Security Experience Panels with over 2,400 people across Scotland registered as panel members when the Panels opened in 2017. The Panels involve people with lived experience of the benefits that are coming to Scotland. In July 2019 recruitment to the Experience Panels was reopened. We have been working with relevant stakeholders to specifically target groups which were previously underrepresented, including young people.
34. The Consultation on Disability Assistance built on the work of the Experience Panels and was published on 5 March 2019. It sought the views of the people of Scotland on the three proposed disability assistance benefits, including Adult Disability Payment. The consultation closed on 28 May 2019, having received 263 replies, of which 74 were from stakeholder organisations and 189 from individuals.
35. The Scottish Government has also undertaken ongoing consultation with stakeholders through our independent Disability and Carers Benefits Expert Advisory Group (DACBEAG) as well as the Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group. DACBEAG is chaired by Dr Jim McCormick and comprises individuals with significant practical experience of the United Kingdom social security system, from a range of professional backgrounds. It is independent of the Scottish Government.
36. The Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group was set up in March 2016 to inform and influence the development of policy options relating to devolved Disability Assistance. This group has advised on the potential impact of policy decisions as well as user and stakeholder engagement.
37. In addition to the above, the views of people with lived experience have been captured through a range of user research and stakeholder engagement activities held throughout Scotland. These events have provided stakeholders the opportunity to feed into the early development of policy discussions, raising awareness of the consultation and further exploring their views.
38. The stakeholder engagements, expert advisory groups and events held with people with lived experience as well as the public consultations have helped to identify the potential impact of Adult Disability Payment on other Scottish Government policy areas as well as on children and young people's wellbeing.
39. The latest Scottish Health Survey covering the calendar year 2019 reports that among young people aged 16-24, around 22% have a limiting longstanding illness.
40. The mid-year population estimates showed that as of 30 June 2019 there were almost 108,000 people aged 16 or 17 in Scotland. At the same time there were around 3,700 16-17 year olds receiving Personal Independence Payment, accounting for 3.4% of this demographic. For context, there were almost 201,000 working age Personal Independence Payment recipients among over 3.5 million people of working age (including 16 and 17 year olds). Personal Independence Payment recipients account for 5.7% of this wider group.
41. In the financial year 2019-20 there were around 2,800 applications to Personal Independence Payment for 16 or 17 year olds in Scotland. Given that Child Disability Payment will extend to 16 and 17 year olds there will no longer be automatic reassessment at these ages. However, new clients will be able to apply for Adult Disability Payment from 16. Of the aforementioned 2,800, 650 were new applications to Personal Independence Payment, and a similar number can expect to be received when Adult Disability Payment opens to new applications. Additionally, Child Disability Payment clients may elect to apply for Adult Disability Payment once they reach 16.
42. In the latest Personal Independence Payment caseload information to the end of July 2020, there are around 3,200 people in Scotland of all ages that have received a Personal Independence Payment award under the Terminal Illness Special Rules. A very small number of these are aged 16 or 17 (figures suggest there are around 20 young people at GB level).
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC)
43. The policy intent has been assessed against the relevant UNCRC articles:
Article 3 - Best Interests of the Child: Social Security Scotland has been developed around the principles of dignity, fairness and respect, transparent decision making, a person centred approach and routed in the belief that social security is a human right. Adult Disability Payment will have these principles embedded both in the policy and in the way in which the assistance is delivered. This will help to ensure that all decisions made by Social Security Scotland are made with consideration of the best interests of the young person, both when they are the recipient and where the recipient is a family member of the young person.
Article 6 - Life, Survival and Development: Adult Disability Payment is intended to mitigate the additional costs disabled people, including disabled young people, incur in meeting their care and mobility needs. Mitigation of these additional costs is anticipated to provide young people with funding to access community resources, education and social activities, develop skills and new experiences and to have a good quality of life. Once young people are in receipt of Adult Disability Payment they have the security of the continuity that comes with a form of assistance available, as long as they remain eligible, for the rest of their adult lives. This is particularly valuable at a time when young people are experiencing many other transitions which can be the source of a great deal of stress and anxiety for them and their families.
Article 12 - Respect for the views of the child: Adult Disability Payment has been developed through consultation with and input from people with lived experience of the current social security system, including young people, their families and carers through our Social Security Experience Panels. This policy will impact the lives of disabled people including young people and their contribution is crucial in shaping a successful policy.
Article 23 - Children with a Disability: Adult Disability Payment will ensure that individuals, including young people, who receive it are more likely to be able to live a full life, to be as independent as possible and to be able to engage in the community. By ensuring that some of the additional costs incurred as a result of additional care or mobility requirements are mitigated, eligible disabled young people will have the option to engage in more activities of their choosing.
Article 26 - Social Security: Adult Disability Payment has been developed for adults in Scotland. This includes young people aged 16 and 17 years old. We have engaged with individuals and stakeholders to make changes that improve both the rules and the client experience of applying for, and receiving, Adult Disability Payment. These changes will ensure that the application process is easily accessed by those who are eligible, that take up amongst eligible individuals, including young people. Increases, and that, throughout engagement with Social Security Scotland, individuals are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.
Article 27 - Adequate Standard of Living: The key policy intent of Adult Disability Payment is to provide individuals with payments to help mitigate the costs they incur as a result of a disability or long term condition. Adult Disability Payment will not be means-tested. Young people in receipt of Adult Disability Payment will be able to use it to pay for things such as care, access to community resources, transport, social activities, and any other goods or services of their choosing.
Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) wellbeing indicators
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced a range of indicators used to measure children and young peoples' wellbeing. Our assessment of Adult Disability Payment against this framework is:
Healthy: Adult Disability Payment will improve the health of disabled adults, including young people, by ensuring that increased financial support is provided to them, contributing towards the additional costs of care and transport.
Achieving: The provision of the mobility and daily living components of Adult Disability Payment directly contribute to enabling disabled individuals including young people to engage in activities of their choosing including education, development opportunities and social activities.
Active: As outlined above, the provision of daily living and mobility components of Adult Disability Payment will provide the funds to enable individuals including young people to engage in community activities of their choosing, ensuring that they have the option to choose to engage in community based activities and resources.
Respected: The principle of respect for the dignity of individuals is at the heart of the new Scottish social security system and specified in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. Adult Disability Payment will further embed these principles, recognising that disabled individuals, including young people, have the right to engage in activities of their choosing and providing funds to enable them to purchase the services or equipment they need to help them do so. The administration of the assistance has been designed to ensure that people are treated with dignity and respect and provided with a service that takes account of, and meets, their needs.
Responsible: Social Security Scotland will pay Adult Disability Payment directly to young people aged 16 and 17, where they are able to manage their own affairs. The young person will decide on how this money should be used with support from their parents or carers where appropriate. Where there is a requirement for an appointee, or a young person is subject to a guardianship order, Social Security Scotland can pay Adult Disability Payment to the relevant person acting on the young person's behalf.
Specific policy impacts
Young People Aged 16-18
44. As part of the implementation of Child Disability Payment we are intending to increase eligibility from age 16 to 18 for young people in receipt of Child Disability Payment prior to their 16th birthday. This will ensure that young people and their families do not have to undergo a stressful and anxiety provoking reassessment process at age 16, a time when many young people undergo a transition to adult services. This policy measure is likely to have a broadly positive impact and is supported by stakeholders as a desirable permanent change to the eligibility rules for the Child Disability Payment.
45. By enabling applications for Adult Disability Payment from age 16, young people who are not already receiving disability assistance are able to access this through a route which offers continuity into adulthood. This prevents 16 or 17 year olds applying for Child Disability Payment and then, after a short period, requiring them to apply for Adult Disability Payment. This would add a further transition for young people to navigate which is what we are seeking to avoid by extending eligibility of Child Disability Payment to age 18. This avoidance of a further transition is particularly important as young people aged 16 and 17 are already undergoing a period of significant change transferring from child to adult services. This policy measure is likely to have a positive impact on young people and is supported by stakeholders.
Other policy divergences that will support individuals including children and young people.
46. As part of the Scottish Government's commitment to a safe and secure transition of powers, we do not propose to make significant changes to the eligibility criteria of Adult Disability Payment.However, we have set out several points of divergence between Adult Disability Payment and Personal Independence Payment which we expect to have a positive impact on disabled people in Scotland. These are described in this consultation document at Annex A.
47. The development of Adult Disability Payment and how it will be delivered has been informed by engagement with a range of stakeholders and people with lived experience of the current benefit system. The policy intent of Adult Disability Payment is to provide payments to contribute to the additional care and mobility costs resulting from a disability or long term condition. The provision of this assistance is intended to enable people to mitigate these costs, and to mitigate societal barriers to ensure they are able to live a life of their own choosing.
48. Policy measures outlined above are anticipated to be broadly positive in relation to the impact on children's rights and wellbeing. This is both directly where a young person is an Adult Disability Payment client and also for the children of parents who are an Adult Disability Payment client.
49. Based on the evidence gathered, previous consultative engagement with users and stakeholders, and assessment of the demographic makeup of current Personal Independence Payment recipients, the Scottish Government does not consider that Adult Disability Payment infringes upon the rights of the child as set out in the articles of the UNCRC. The assessed impacts of the policy make a positive contribution to the rights and wellbeing of young people who are eligible to receive Adult Disability Payment as set out in the assessment of the policy against UNCRC articles outlined above.
50. The Scottish Government has assessed Adult Disability Payment against the indicators of wellbeing as set out by the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and has concluded that the policy is likely to have a positive impact against each of the indicators, for young people who meet the eligibility rules and for the children of adults who are awarded Adult Disability Payment.
51. While we have identified that Adult Disability Payment will have some positive impacts on the groupings outlined above, we are keen to seek out opportunities to promote improved rights and wellbeing for young people. This consultation therefore seeks the views of stakeholders, the public and a range of groups with a specific interest in child policy development.