I am delighted to launch this consultation on the regulations for Adult Disability Payment. Adult Disability Payment will replace Personal Independence Payment for disabled people of working age in Scotland, and will represent a significant milestone in the development of the Scottish social security system. This consultation reflects our commitment to designing Disability Assistance in partnership with disabled people and disabled people's organisations so that we can make meaningful changes to the way in which our new benefits are delivered.
In the short time since our Consultation on Disability Assistance in 2019, the world as we know it has changed remarkably, with the Scottish Government and our public sector partners having to manage considerable challenges as a result of Covid-19. No one could have anticipated then the impact this would have on our plans for delivering Disability Assistance, or the difficult decision that would need to be taken to delay our replacement for Personal Independence Payment.
Despite these challenges, work has continued with building a new social security system that treats disabled people with fairness, dignity and respect. I remain grateful to the members of the Disability and Carer Benefits Expert Advisory Group (DACBEAG) and the Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group for their steadfast support during these unprecedented times, and to our wider stakeholders for their continuing and sustained interest in our plans.
I recognise the considerable interest in talking about our approach in detail, and that disabled people need to have confidence in a system that works for them, not against them. I am confident that what we have set out in the regulations will reflect that.
We believe that we can make bold choices to create a real difference to the whole client journey – a journey that has trust embedded throughout, and reflects our core values. I fully recognise the distress and anxiety that people describe when talking about the dreaded brown envelope, assessments and having to repeatedly tell their story. I am determined that we will listen, we will learn and we will do better.
The regulations, of course, only tell part of the story. Much emphasis has been placed on how this new benefit will be delivered. The regulations form the foundation for a new relationship between disabled people and the social security system. It is important that we hear your views to help us ensure we are getting the details right. Your opinion matters to us, and I would like your help in shaping this new benefit.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your views.
Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People
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