Adult Disability Payment opens for new applications across Scotland. The national rollout follows successful pilots in 13 local authority areas, which began in March.
It is the twelfth and most complex benefit to be delivered by the Scottish Government. It replaces the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment.
The benefit provides financial support to people aged between 16 and state pension age who are disabled, have a long-term health condition or have a terminal illness.
People already receiving the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance do not need to apply for Adult Disability Payment. These existing awards will transfer automatically from the DWP to Social Security Scotland.
Cases will transfer in stages starting from this summer and this process is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said: “The national launch of Adult Disability Payment is a significant milestone in the development of our new social security system, that will treat everyone with dignity, fairness and respect.
“This is the twelfth and most complex devolved benefit to be introduced and, once all the awards have transferred from the DWP, this new payment will be supporting more than 300,000 people.
“We are offering a range of ways to make an application, including online, by post, over the phone or face-to-face. Social Security Scotland local delivery teams are also available to provide assistance in communities across the country.
“In creating our new system, we have worked extensively and collaboratively with people who will use this service.
“Their input, and their direct experience of the DWP system, has significantly informed our policy development and resulted in the number of improvements that we are making to the way in which we are delivering our new service.
“The Scottish Government is focused on providing a positive and compassionate experience for people applying for and receiving our Adult Disability Payment.
“In our Scottish system no one will be subject to DWP style assessments or degrading functional examinations, and we will never use the private sector to carry out health examinations.
“People will only be invited to a consultation on occasions when we require more information so we can make a decision. This will be a conversation with a health and social care professional to understand how a person’s disability or health condition impacts them.
“Social security is a shared investment in building a fairer Scotland. It is a human right and we encourage those who may be eligible for support to apply.”
Moira Tasker, Chief Executive of Inclusion Scotland said: “Inclusion Scotland warmly welcomes today’s launch of the Adult Disability Payment.
“Many disabled people are being disproportionately hard hit by the UK economic crisis and are deeply worried about just surviving this winter.
“The Adult Disability Payment will offer much needed support to eligible disabled people. It ushers in further progress towards upholding the values of dignity and respect in Scottish society, which were entirely lacking in the Department of Work and Pensions approach to disability benefits.
“We are proud of the part that disabled people, our members and Inclusion Scotland played in engaging with the Scottish Government to make a new system for Scottish disability benefits fair and accessible.
“The Adult Disability Payment is a leap forward. It has the potential to enable disabled people and Scots with long-term health conditions to participate in their communities and wider Scottish society – whether that is through work, education, family life, or simply a life lived without fear of phone calls or letters demanding repeated assessments and sanctions.”