Social Security in Scotland: consultation (easy read version)

Easy read version of the consultation on social security, including policy, delivery and operational issues.

Part 2: Benefits the Scottish Government will provide

an application form

The Scottish Government will now be in charge of some benefits. These are called 'devolved benefits'.

They are:

  • Ill Health and Disability Benefits which means - Disability Living Allowance ( DLA), Personal Independence Payments ( PIP), Attendance Allowance ( AA), Severe Disablement Allowance ( SDA) and Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit ( IIDB)
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Sure Start Maternity Grants (which we want to replace with a new benefit called Best Start Grant)
  • Funeral Payments
  • Winter Fuel and Cold Weather Payments
  • Discretionary Housing Payments
  • Some parts of Universal Credit

The Scottish Government also wants to start a new Job Grant for young people, who have been unemployed for more than 6 months, and who are looking for work.

Ill Health and Disability Benefits

a benefits application form

We want your views on UK disability benefits and how they work. We would like to ask you some questions that will help the Scottish Government take charge of these benefits and make any changes that are needed.

Over 500,000 people in Scotland get Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Personal Independence Payment. We want to hear your views, ideas and experiences so the new system treats everyone the same.

Our first aim is to change to the new system smoothly. We want to make sure everyone knows what's happening and keeps getting their benefits.

We are also looking at ways in which we can help lower costs for disabled people and carers.

In the longer term we want to make sure that disability benefits and other services work together. We are also thinking about a 'whole-of-life' disability benefit that meets people's needs at different stages of their life.

Carer's Allowance

an elderly woman with a male carer

Caring can be rewarding and positive for both carers and those being cared for. But caring can also lead to poor mental and physical health. It can stop people doing things like working or going to college or university.

The Scottish Government wants to raise Carer's Allowance so that it is paid at the same level as Jobseeker's Allowance. Carers who qualify will each get around £600 more a year. We will also think about starting a Young Carers Allowance to give extra support for young people who are carers.

We want to allow people who care for others to be able to do other things in their life, like working or going to college or university.

Best Start Grant

a man, a woman and a child

The Scottish Government wants to bring in a new 'Best Start Grant'. This would replace the Sure Start Maternity Grant. This grant makes a payment to some families on benefits when they have their first baby. We want to increase the amount we pay. We want to give a payment for all babies. We want to make a payment when children start nursery and school.

The support provided through the new Best Start Grant will help to treat everyone equally. We want a benefit that is easy to apply for and that gives good support to families in the early years.

Funeral Payments

The current DWP funeral payment is a grant for some people on low income benefits who have to pay for a funeral.

The funeral payment is one of the ways that helps some people who cannot pay for funerals. We want to give more people the funeral payment so they don't need to borrow money to pay for funerals. We also want people to know how much the benefit will pay them so they can plan for a funeral.

We are looking for ideas about the best ways to do this.

Winter Fuel Payments

an elderly man sitting in an arm chair

This is a yearly payment made to all pensioners to help towards their winter heating costs.

Cold Weather Payments

This is given to help those on low incomes pay extra heating costs during cold weather.

Discretionary Housing Payments

a house

Discretionary Housing Payments are made by councils. They are for people who need extra help to pay their housing costs.

This has been given to people whose housing benefit or Universal Credit has been reduced because of welfare changes like the 'bedroom tax.

We suggest that Discretionary Housing Payments should not change.

Universal Credit

The law gives choices for the way Universal Credit is worked out and paid. The choices are being introduced to make it easier for people to manage their Universal Credit payments. These are:

  • Having the choice to be paid Universal Credit twice a month instead of once a month.
  • Having the choice to have your rent part be paid directly to council or housing association landlords.

These changes are meant to give people more choice and control over their Universal Credit payments.

We would also like to look at the idea of paying rent to Private Landlords directly.

Job Grant

The Scottish Government wants to set up a new Job Grant to help young people aged 16-24, who are going back to work after being unemployed for 6 months. This would be a single payment of £100, or £250 for those who have children. We also plan to give them free bus travel for three months.


a woman talking while a hand writes down what she’s saying

We have told you our ideas on:

  • Ill Health and Disability Benefits
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Best Start Grant
  • Funeral Payments
  • Winter Fuel and Cold Weather Payments
  • Discretionary Housing Payments
  • Universal Credit
  • Job Grant

You may want to give us your answers on all of these or just some of them.

What do you think about the ideas?

Is there anything else you would like to say about this section?


Email: Edward Orr,

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