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The new Adult Disability Payment (ADP) in Scotland, which is replacing the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) disability benefit, has opened for applications from people living in three pilot areas.

People can apply who live in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and Western Isles council areas, are aged between 16 and state pension age, and are disabled, have a long-term health condition or have a terminal illness.

Adult Disability Payment will be administered through Social Security Scotland and will replace PIP, which is currently delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions, following ‘unanimous’ approval for the legislation by the Scottish Parliament last month.

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People with ongoing awards of PIP and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) do not need to make an application for Adult Disability Payment (ADP). Their awards will transfer to the Scottish social security system automatically from this summer.

Further council areas will be introduced in phases until ADP is rolled out nationwide on 29 August.

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said: “Social security is a human right and none of us know when we might need it – it is a shared investment to help build a fairer society, together. We are developing a system that is rooted in trust to make sure people can access the support that they are entitled to.

“Launching this first Adult Disability Payment pilot is a significant milestone, as we start to deliver our biggest and most complex benefit. We are taking a positive and compassionate approach to delivering disability assistance, centred around our principles of dignity, fairness and respect.”

Under ADP, the Scottish Government is introducing Indefinite Awards for severely disabled people with needs which are highly unlikely to change. This will help to avoid the stress and anxiety associated with reviews while providing long-term financial security to people, according to the government.

Moreover, for those who do not get Indefinite Awards, the government is making changes to the review process generally. In cases where awards are reviewed, any reviews will be light-touch and will take place less frequently than in the DWP system.

People will be able to access Short-term Assistance while they are challenging a decision. This will provide people with the same amount of money they were getting before a decision was made to lower or stop their payment. Short-term Assistance will not need to be repaid.

The Scottish Government is also funding an independent advocacy service which will be available to support people across the full application process, including re-determinations and appeals.

Also different to PIP, a new definition of terminal illness has been introduced under ADP, removing the time 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. The Scottish Government says it will make sure that people get the highest rate of payments as quickly as possible.

Ben continued: “We know people have found applying for disability benefits stressful in the past. That is why we have listened to their experiences and have designed our service to work for people, not against them.

“We are ensuring that accessing Adult Disability Payment is as straightforward as possible and we will always start from a position of trust.

“Importantly, in the Scottish system no one will be subject to Department for Work and Pensions style assessments and we will never use the private sector to carry out health examinations. There won’t be any degrading functional examinations, such as asking a client to ‘touch their toes’.. These changes have been welcomed by those with lived experience, who we have worked with to design this benefit.

“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 an individual’s disability or health condition impacts them.

“We are committed to giving people timely decisions, but our priority is making the right decisions first time and sometimes this may take a bit longer. This will reduce the need for people to go through a redetermination or appeal.

“Adult Disability Payment is there to support people to live well and provide security at the most difficult of times. I would encourage those who think they could be eligible to check and apply.”

Phase Two of the Adult Disability Payment pilot takes place in Perth and Kinross, Dundee City, the Western Isles, Angus, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire from 20 June 2022.

Phase Three of the Adult Disability Payment pilot takes place in Perth and Kinross, Dundee City, the Western Isles, Angus, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Fife, City of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire from 25 July 2022.

People can apply for Adult Disability Payment either online, by post, over the phone or face-to-face. More information is available on mygov.scot or by calling 0800 182 2222.

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