The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 (the 2018 Act) sets out the broad framework for the delivery of social security in Scotland. Child Disability Payment was the first of three types of disability assistance to be introduced by the Scottish Government and launched nationally on 22 November 2021. It is available to children and young people from the ages of 3 months to 18 years old who have care and/or mobility needs as a result of a disability.
Adult Disability Payment was also introduced by the Scottish Government on 29 August 2022. This form of assistance provides disabled individuals with support for extra costs incurred as a result of disability. Both Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment have been co-designed with stakeholders and disabled people to ensure that the values of dignity, fairness and respect are embedded throughout.
In addition to supporting new applications, Scottish Ministers have made provision for the transfer of responsibility for delivering disability benefits for individuals who receive Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance for Children from the Department for Work and Pensions to Social Security Scotland. They are also responsible for changing the disability benefits for these individuals from Personal Independence to Adult Disability Payment and Disability Living Allowance for Children to Child Disability Payment. We refer to this process as “case transfer”.
The Disability Assistance (Miscellaneous Amendment) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 make amendments to the following sets of principal Regulations for Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment: the Disability Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Regulations 2021; the Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations 2022; and the Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Transitional Provisions and Miscellaneous Amendment) (Scotland) Regulations 2022. These changes to the principal regulations are intended to smooth the transition for individuals moving between these benefits. In addition they include some minor technical amendments. They also make a small adjustment to the Social Security (Invalid Care Allowance) Regulations 1976 to clarify eligibility criteria for Carer’s Allowance.
The public sector equality duty is a legislative requirement which states that the Scottish Government must assess the impact of applying a proposed new or revised policy or practice on groups with protected characteristics. Policies should reflect that different people have different needs. Equality legislation covers the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation.
This Equality Impact Assessment has identified potential impacts on disabled people in Scotland as a result of these amendments to the principal regulations for Child Disability Payment, Adult Disability Payment and Carer’s Allowance. It was found that, overall, these changes would have a positive impact on people in Scotland with protected characteristics. No specific areas of improvement have been identified during the process of this equality impact assessment however, if any areas of improvement are identified, we will endeavour to make changes to better meet the needs of people living in Scotland. We will also be continuing to monitor and evaluate the impact of these amendments through a comprehensive evaluation programme conducted by the Communities Analysis Division within the Scottish Government.
These changes build on the 2018 Act's framework of a system that is underpinned by dignity, respect and a human rights based approach to delivering social security for the people of Scotland. This impact assessment is one of a package to accompany the regulations. The others are: Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA); Island Community Impact Assessment (ICIA) Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA); and the Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment.
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