Rationale for Government Intervention
The assessment of the Disability Assistance (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations in relation to Business and Regulatory impact was undertaken using the five principles of Better Regulation, as follows:
Proportionate: The Scottish Government will look to identify and minimise any indirect impacts, for example administrative burdens, on local government, private businesses or third sector organisations as a result of the introduction of these amendments.
Scottish recipients of UK benefits Disability Living Allowance for Children and Personal Independence Payment have already significantly reduced in caseload as Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment are delivered by the Scottish Government and cases are being successfully transferred to Social Security Scotland. Therefore, these amendments, as they pertain to clarifying existing principles, will have a positive impact in the longer term in reducing the administrative burdens on the agencies previously involved in the delivery of the legacy benefits by DWP as case transfer is delivered.
In the short term, there may be minor additional work for public agencies and some third sector organisations as the further improvement in the Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment journey is made which may require staff to incorporate knowledge of these changes.
Consistent: These amendments build on the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 framework of a new system that is underpinned by dignity, fairness and respect.
These amendments aim to align payment cycles for people moving from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment further smoothing the transition between the two payments. This will provide a consistent approach for individuals, and services who will support them, to make applications for disability assistance and navigate Scotland’s social security system.
Accountable: All determinations made relating to an application for disability assistance will be provided to individuals in a communication method that meets their needs. All information used, and rationale for the decision, will be included within this communication to ensure that individuals are informed of how the decision relating to their application was made.
The Social Security Charter sets out, in plain and clear English, what people are entitled to expect from the Scottish social security system, including how they should be treated and how their application will be processed. Complaints regarding Social Security Scotland can be directed to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
Social Security Scotland ensures that people understand their right to have their determination re-determined by Social Security Scotland and to request an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal if they are unsatisfied with the outcome of the re-determination. This includes their right to appeal directly to the First Tier Tribunal if Social Security Scotland is unable to complete the re-determination process before 56 days have elapsed.
Transparent: We have a communications strategy for each form of disability assistance, the related case transfer process, Child Disability Payment and for communicating to young people receiving Child Disability Payment about applying for Adult Disability Payment. This aims to ensure that individuals and their families or carers, the third sector, local government, education and health sectors and advice providers are aware of the benefit, know how to apply and understand the eligibility criteria, and understand the journey from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment.
Where a determination is made that an individual is not entitled to assistance, Social Security Scotland will provide a reason why, as set out in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, to ensure that determinations are understood and that our processes are as transparent as possible. We will continue to publish and update guidance on Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment in a way that takes account of differing communication needs, so that entitlement is clearly understandable.
Social Security Scotland will update the existing bank of Child Disability Payment stakeholder resources and content in accessible formats that will be proactively supplied to relevant stakeholder organisations through the National Stakeholder Engagement team, for organisations to distribute to people in local communities. The languages we proactively translate materials into were selected through stakeholder consultation. These are: British Sign Language, Farsi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Urdu, Gaelic, Polish, Arabic, braille and easy read formats.
Social Security Scotland will continue to produce communication materials in other languages on request. Social Security Scotland communications will continue to work with community radio and foreign language press to provide messaging on Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment to communities. In some circumstances printed marketing materials may not be the right way to engage with communities and where this is the case we will provide an engagement approach through work carried out by the National Stakeholder Engagement and Local Delivery functions.
Targeted only where needed: The amendment narrowing the cohort of people who can receive Child Disability Payment to age 19 (regardless of whether they submitted an application for Adult Disability Payment before reaching age 18) is for the very purpose of ensuring this provision remains targeted. This was included to provide cross border and case transfer individuals, approaching 18 at the time of transfer, sufficient time to make their Adult Disability Payment application before their Child Disability Payment comes to an end thus avoiding a break in their receipt of assistance. We are now at a place in the case transfer process where all young people over age 16 have now transferred to Child Disability Payment and are receiving the appropriate communications about making an application for Adult Disability Payment.
It is not expected that the introduction of these amendments will cause any significant additional requests for information and support from existing advice services. However, should there be any unintended impact on these services, it is anticipated that by introducing a system that has been designed in partnership with advice agencies, key stakeholders and individuals with experience of the current system, Social Security Scotland will be equipped to support individuals. This should lessen the impact on advice services in their provision of complex welfare rights casework support for individuals.
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