Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group meeting minutes: November 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 23 November 2022

Attendees and apologies


  • Nathan Gale, Chair, Scottish Government
  • Peter Bell, Scottish Government
  • Samantha Cooper, Scottish Government
  • Jack Donald, Scottish Government
  • Matthew Duff, Scottish Government
  • Jack Easton, Scottish Government
  • Moira Escreet, CPAG
  • Richard Gass, Rights Advice Scotland
  • David George, Scottish Government
  • Suzie Gilkison, Scottish Government
  • Tasneem Irshad, Scottish Government
  • Margaret Kane-Dickson, NHS 
  • Maddy Kirkman, Inclusion Scotland
  • Shonagh Martin, Scottish Government 
  • Stephanie Miller, Citizen’s Advice Scotland 
  • Keith Rae, Scottish Government
  • Joseph Scullion, Scottish Government
  • Meg Sydney, Scottish Government
  • Gill Young, Castle Rock Edinvar


  • Kate Burton, NHS
  • Emilia Crighton, NHS
  • John Cunningham, CoSLA 
  • Jim Hume, Support in Mind Scotland
  • Laura Kerr, Social Work Scotland 
  • Gerard McFeely, NHS
  • Duncan McIntyre, Chair of Learning Disability Practice Network
  • Dr Mini Mishra, Scottish Government
  • Cate Vallis, RNIB
  • Jill Vickerman, BMA

Items and actions


Chair, Nathan Gale, welcomed members to the 26th meeting of the Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group. 

Minutes and Scottish Government update paper

Members signed off the minutes from the May meeting of the group. These will be published on the Scottish Government website.

Members did not have any comments on the Scottish Government update paper. 

Adult Disability Payment Review 

Scottish Government officials gave members a presentation on the Adult Disability Payment review. 

Members raised concerns regarding the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment for people currently on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and for children and young people on Child Disability Payment who may lose out if the 20 metre rule is used. Officials reassured members that the mobility component and the systems in place for each age group is something being taken into consideration as part of the review. They also explained that there is already a safeguard in place for the transition from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment with young people having the option to wait until 18 before moving to Adult Disability Payment. Officials offered to meet with a member separately to discuss their thoughts and concerns in more details. 

Members asked whether there would be any remedial action put in place for the mobility component ahead of the independent review since work on this has already begun. Officials confirmed that the independent review will take all eligibility criteria into consideration and findings from the review of the mobility component will allow officials to identify issues in advance. 

Pension Age Disability Payment 

Officials gave members a presentation on the developments of the work on Pension Age Disability Payment (PADP), the Scottish replacement for Attendance Allowance (AA). Officials asked members some questions throughout the presentation to guide the conversation. 

  1. Does your organisation currently provide support to people applying for AA? 
  2. If so, what support does your organisation provide, and how can we work to ensure our processes enable this for PADP? 

The majority of members confirmed that they do provide support to people applying for AA. 

Members said that often people applying have chronic conditions, so appeals are less likely with clients applying for AA and the ‘interrogation’ of AA applicants is less intense in comparison to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) applicants. Members also said that the form for AA is confusing and could be simplified. Officials confirmed that there will be a lot of opportunity to get involved with user research for the PADP form and would welcome member’s input. 

Members agreed a one step process for the PADP form would be more suitable. Currently, when providing support to AA applicants, advisors have to return to clients for a second time after waiting to receive the second part of the application form. 

Officials asked members if they would be supportive of us taking a slightly different approach in the following areas with the Pension Age Disability Payment regulations:

  1. Where we think it may be helpful, being less prescriptive in certain provisions and instead providing this detail in guidance. 
  2. Drafting certain provisions in a way which enables Scottish Ministers more flexibility should that be needed – for example where we think retaining some flexibility may avoid the need for amendment regulations. 

Members were concerned that removing parts from the provisions may result in it being interpreted differently. They would prefer clear lines of entitlement set out in provisions as not everyone uses the guidance. Officials reassured members that this would not be for provisions relating to entitlement. 

There are a number of areas for engagement going forward, such as:

  • Regulations
  • Decision Making Guidance
  • User research
  • Impact assessments 

The following questions were asked:

  1. As a stakeholder, would you be happy to engage with us on these areas?
  2. Are there any other key points in the development of Pension Age Disability Payment where you think your expertise could be utilised? 

Members were happy to be engage with officials in all areas. 

One member’s organisation is doing a deep dive into the rollout of Adult Disability Payment and they have received a lot of feedback so far. They offered to connect officials with front line advisors who could also support this work.  

Members asked whether the outcome of the Adult Disability Payment review would have an impact on PADP. Officials confirmed that they will be moving forward with PADP work as planned and if any results come from the review that are relevant to PADP, these will be taken into consideration. 

Members asked whether there were any thoughts on returning to the previous system where all age groups received the same disability benefit. Officials confirmed that right now the priority is the safe and secure transition and delivery of the full programme of Social Security benefits. 

Employment Injury Assistance

Officials gave members an overview of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) and an update on the Scottish replacement, Employment Injury Assistance (EIA). 

Members did not have any questions or comments following this presentation. 

Officials agreed to share slides with more information for members who aren’t aware of IIDB. 

Action: Officials to share all presentation slides with members

Any other business and close 

Nathan thanked members for attending the meeting and closed. 

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