A new disability benefit was launched in Highland on Monday as part of a nationwide rollout following a pilot scheme in 13 local authority areas.
The Adult Disability Payment, which replaces the UK government’s Personal Independence Payment, is now open to new claims across Scotland.
It is issued by the Scottish Government and provides financial support to people aged 16 of statutory pension age who are disabled, have a long-term medical condition or have a terminal illness.
People who are already receiving the Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance do not need to apply for the Disabled Adult Payment. These existing benefits will automatically transfer from the DWP to Social Security Scotland. Cases will be transferred in stages starting this summer and this process is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson said: “The national launch of Adult Disability Payment is an important step in the development of our new social security system, which will treat everyone with dignity, fairness and respect. This is the 12th and most complex decentralized benefit to be introduced and, once all rewards have been transferred from the DWP, this new payment will support over 300,000 people.
“We offer a range of ways to apply, including online, by mail, over the phone or face-to-face. Social Security Scotland’s local delivery teams are also available to provide assistance in communities across the country.
“When creating our new system, we worked intensively and in collaboration with the people who will use this service. Their input and direct experience with the DWP system has greatly informed our policy development and resulted in the number of improvements we are making to the way we provide our new service. The Scottish Government is committed to providing a positive and caring experience for people applying for and receiving our Disabled Adult Payment.
“In our Scottish system, no one will be subjected to DWP-like assessments or degrading functional exams, and we will never use the private sector to carry out health exams.
“People will only be invited to a consultation when we need more information to be able to make a decision. This will involve a conversation with a health and social services professional to understand how a person’s disability or health condition affects them. »
Moira Tasker, Chief Executive of Inclusion Scotland, said: “Inclusion Scotland warmly welcomes the launch of Adult Disability Payment. Many people with disabilities are disproportionately affected by the UK economic crisis and are deeply worried that they will not be able to survive this winter.
“The Disability Payment for Adults will provide much-needed support to eligible disabled people. It marks further progress towards upholding the values of dignity and respect in Scottish society, which were totally lacking in the Department for Work and Pensions’ approach to disability benefits.