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Building better Disability Assistance benefits

5th March 2019

Photograph of Building better Disability Assistance benefits

Consultation starts on delivering a fairer system.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville today asked for views as she launched a consultation on delivering fairer Disability Assistance benefits.

From April 2020 the Scottish Government will take full responsibility for all remaining devolved benefits, with replacement disability benefits to start their introduction from summer 2020.

The new consultation asks for input to ensure the Scottish approach to Disability Assistance will meet the needs of the children and adults it is intended to help.

It will build upon work already undertaken to listen to people with lived experience of disability benefits about how the system can meet their needs.

Ms Somerville said: "In Parliament last week I made clear that, having successfully delivered the first devolved benefits for carers and low income families, my next priority is to deliver payments for disabled people. This will begin with disability assistance for children and young people next summer. This will be followed by our benefit for older people, and then by our replacement for the DWP's Personal Independence Payment from early 2021.

"I am determined to ensure the system we build is a better, fairer one than the one it will replace. I have heard many moving stories from people frustrated with the current system. We will not replicate a process that causes stress and anxiety. We want to ensure people trust Scotland's social security system and that it works for people not against them.

"That means fewer face to face assessments, rolling awards with no set end points and those with fluctuating health conditions will not face additional reviews due to regular changes in needs related to their condition. If face to face assessments are necessary, they will be at a time and location that suits the person and carried out by suitably qualified assessors. We will also move the burden of collecting information from the client to Social Security Scotland.

"In addition, by end of next year we will also start delivery of a new payment of Winter Heating Assistance to children who receive the highest care component of Disability Assistance and a new payment for carers of more than one disabled child.

"Today's consultation paper represents the detailed work we've carried out so far in designing a system based upon the views of those with lived experience of the current system. I look forward to getting further views so that our shared aim can be best achieved: delivery of a disability assistance programme built upon principles of fairness, dignity and respect."

A copy of the consultation paper is available at https://consult.gov.scot/social-security/improving-disability-assistance/

The consultation runs from 5 March to 28th May 2019.

Disabled Assistance in Scotland will be made up of three forms of help:

Summer 2020 - Disability Assistance for Children and Young People (DACYP)
By end 2021 - Disability Assistance for Working-Age People (DAWAP)
Early 2021 - Disability Assistance for Older People (DAOP)
These will replace the DWP administered benefits Disability Living Allowance for Children (DLAC), Attendance Allowance (AA), and Personal Independence Payments (PIP). New claims for all of these will be delivered by early 2021.

Building on ongoing work with Experience Panels, the consultation seeks the views of people with lived experience or a working knowledge of social security, including disability benefits, and experience of the application process.

The Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) has been established and will scrutinise the Disability Assistance regulations which will be drafted in accordance with feedback from this consultation.

Any child or adult living in Scotland who is currently receiving Disability Living Allowance for children, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance from DWP will be affected by the approach set out in the consultation document. Those who meet the eligibility criteria may also be affected.

Find more information on social security go to - https://www.gov.scot/policies/social-security/

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