Former charity chief executive to ensure Adult Disability Payment meets people’s needs
Edel Harris OBE, the former chief executive of the charity Mencap, has been appointed to chair the Independent Review of Adult Disability Payment.
The Independent Review, a Programme for Government commitment, will consider people’s experiences of the Scottish benefit to ensure it continues to meet the needs of disabled people.
Adult Disability Payment is paid to disabled working age adults in recognition of the extra costs of being disabled or having a long-term health condition. It is currently supporting 137,490 disabled people in Scotland and has provided £461.8 million in payments since it was launched in August 2022.
Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Edel Harris brings a wealth of experience to this important position, both from her leading roles in third sector organisations and her personal experience as a family carer.
“A year on from the national launch of Adult Disability Payment, we are fulfilling our pledge to have an independent review to ensure it is meeting the needs of disabled people both now and in the future. Ms Harris will ensure the views of disabled people and groups that represent them are heard throughout the review.
“I am committed to continuing to improve the experience of people receiving this benefit – to ensure they are supported in line with the principles of dignity, fairness, and respect at the heart of our social security system.”
Adult Disability Payment was introduced in August 2022 as a replacement for the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It is paid to disabled working age adults in recognition of the extra costs of being disabled or having a long-term health condition.
It is estimated around 330,000 people will ultimately have their award transferred to this new benefit from PIP currently provided by the Department of Work and Pensions.
The chair of the independent review will complete an interim report for Scottish Ministers by September 2024, highlighting initial priorities capable of early action, before submitting a final report by June next year.
The UK Government has launched its new Disability Action Plan, which outlines 32 steps it is taking to make the UK “the most accessible place in the world” for disabled people.