- Document Cover
- Summary of recommendations and observations
- Executive summary
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Aims of Pension Age Disability Payment
- 3. Take-up
- 4. Policy changes from Attendance Allowance
- 5. Mobility
- 6. Renal dialysis
- 7. Equality issues
- 8. Future changes
- 9. Regulations: areas for clarification
- 10. Approach to scrutiny
- Annexe A: Stakeholder engagement
- Annexe B: Scrutiny timeline
- Annexe C: About the Scottish Commission on Social Security
8. Future changes
In response to DACBEAG’s report on PADP, the then Minister for Social Security said that: “Although I do not plan to review the eligibility criteria for Pension Age Disability Payment (PADP), I will be introducing a number of practical administrative improvements that will provide disabled people with a different experience when accessing the support they are entitled to.” SCoSS does not, therefore, envisage any significant changes to the eligibility criteria to be set out in the near future. There is, however, an issue to which we wish to draw the Scottish Government’s attention at the point at which future changes are considered.
The AA rules set out that an individual must have been disabled or had their condition for six months before becoming eligible. Draft regulation 5 (6) essentially replicates this qualifying period for Attendance Allowance in having a qualifying period of 26 weeks for PADP (though not for people with a terminal illness where there will continue to be no qualifying period). The Scottish Government notes that the qualifying period “ensures that this form of assistance is targeted at those with longer-term conditions and disabilities”. This rule does not, however, correspond with the qualifying period for Adult Disability Payment which is a 13-week period.
The Scottish Government notes that the longer qualifying period is appropriate and in keeping with the policy intent for PADP, and “ensures that this form of assistance is targeted at those with longer-term conditions and disabilities”. In its 2019 position paper on qualifying periods the Scottish Government also stated that changing the qualifying period for older disabled people could have financial implications, at that time estimated to cost £21million.1Scottish Government Position Paper: Disability Assistance Qualifying Periods (www.gov.scot)
Alzheimer Scotland have commented, however, that the retention of this rule reinforces a long standing inequity and that there will be a small number of people who “make a claim because of needs due to disability which arises from an acute or sudden onset of illness, or injury.” Anyone in this position would need to wait six months from the development of any impairment to receive PADP.