The Scottish Government has modelled the structure, eligibility criteria and rates of payment for ADP on those for PIP with a view to limiting the complexity of the migration process for users and Social Security Scotland alike. Where individuals migrate directly from DLA to ADP, without first moving to PIP, the complexity escalates – as will be clear from this report. SCoSS members were appointed due to our expertise in social security – if we have found the issues raised by the draft Regulations challenging, this will be even more so for individuals who are subject to natural migration or in a position to request voluntary migration. For example, in Annex 1 we note that there are 11 routes into ADP.
There is a general need for anyone affected by the DLA-ADP transfer process to understand what is happening and why. This includes those who will not naturally migrate at this time, but will be subject to managed migration to the devolved system at a later date.
Individuals subject to natural migration will need to understand the provisional nature of their initial ADP award, notably for those who are initially awarded the lowest rate daily living component.
All transferring individuals will need to be clear about what information they need to provide to Social Security Scotland and when, particularly at the point of review. This includes cases where Social Security Scotland considers suspension of payment because it has not received information from the transferring individual.
Adult DLA claimants who are not subject to natural migration will need to have sufficient information about the migration process and the differences between DLA and ADP to know whether it would be beneficial for them to request voluntary migration, and how to do so.
Particular complexities exist for individuals who would be in a position to apply for AA should their provisional ADP award be terminated on review.
The wider disabled population will need to understand that the lowest rate daily living component is only available to adult DLA claimants migrating to ADP, and not to new applicants.
Multiple stakeholders who provided views to SCoSS on the draft Regulations stressed the importance of clear (including easy-read) communication and, if necessary, advocacy to ensure that transferring individuals know what to expect and what is required of them at every stage of the process. All this would be in keeping with the commitment to clear communication in Our Charter, sections 4 to 6 of the 2018 Act and article 21 CRPD.
Recommendation 8: Given the likely complexity of DLA-ADP migration from the perspective of transferring individuals and others, SCoSS invites the Scottish Government to share details of any work being undertaken to develop a communication strategy in line with its various obligations under the 2018 Act, Our Charter and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. One aim should be to raise awareness of the key differences in eligibility criteria between DLA and ADP so that adults in receipt of DLA, whose circumstances have not changed since April 2020, can judge whether it would be in their interests to request transfer to ADP. Any such campaign should be tested with stakeholders to ensure clarity.
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