Scottish Government seeks views of individuals about new disability benefit regulations
The Scottish Government is consulting on the draft regulations for Adult Disability Payment and is seeking views from a range of organisations and individuals.
This new disability benefit seeks to provide people with more person-centred care while making it easier for disabled people to access the system.
Delivered by Social Security Scotland, Adult Disability Payment will replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
PIP helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term disability, ill-health or terminal ill-health. The finances could be used to purchase essential mobility equipment for people with long-term conditions, facilitate vital home adaptations or help cover the costs of a carer.
Similar to PIP, the Scottish Government says Adult Disability Payment will be provided to disabled adults to mitigate the additional costs of living with a disability or health condition. This includes physical or mental disabilities and health conditions which have a significant adverse effect on an individual’s daily activities that is not short-term.
However, one of the key focuses of Adult Disability Payment is that it is intended to be person-centred, taking into account the specific needs of each client. Moving away from PIP, the government feels like this will bring about a “marked improvement” in the way that disabled people interact with the disability benefits system.
There are a few key policy differences for Adult Disability Payment in contrast to PIP, although the Scottish Government stresses that the eligibility rules will remain largely the same.
One key difference will be that all disability awards will be made on a rolling basis, with no set date for an award ending. In cases where there it is unlikely that a client’s condition will improve, there will be at least five years between Light-Touch reviews, the government highlights.
The government is also looking to introduce Short-Term Assistance (STA): a new form of assistance that ensures that clients can continue to receive their previous payment amount until the conclusion of any redetermination or appeal challenging the decision to reduce or stop the award.
Additionally, the consultation suggests extending the time limit for requesting a re-determination of a decision to 42 calendar days to allow individuals time to access support with the process. The government is also looking to add a new definition of terminal illness, removing the requirement that a person must reasonably be expected to die within six months and instead using the clinical judgement of doctors and registered nurses involved in the individual’s care.
To give people a wider choice in how they interact with the disability benefits system, the government is looking to introduce range of application channels which clients can select based on preference including online, paper applications and face-to-face. The government also proposes to take a multi-channel approach to how consultations take place, such as by phone or video call, removing the need for the majority of clients to travel to unfamiliar places.
You can read the full consultation paper on the Adult Disability Payment here
Now, the government is consulting to gather views on its policy and draft regulations and identify any gaps, issues or unintended consequences. It is also asking questions on some specific points about the effects of these regulations.
Alongside considering a range of views from organisations and individuals about the Adult Disability Payment and whether it will meet users’ needs, the government is also asking for views on the potential impacts of the payment on different groups and also on businesses.
People are being encouraged to share their views on the draft regulations here. The deadline for submitting feedback about the Adult Disability Payment consultation is 15 March 2021.