The Disability Assistance (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2023: scrutiny report

The Scottish Commission on Social Security's scrutiny report on the draft Disability Assistance (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2023

Executive summary

The draft Regulations stipulate how recipients of Child Disability Payment (CDP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will transition to Adult Disability Payment (ADP). In relation to the transition from CDP to ADP the draft Regulations aim to ensure a smooth transition by maintaining the recipient’s current payment cycle. In relation to the transition from DLA/PIP to ADP the draft Regulations aim to clarify how changes of circumstances are administered and when increases and decreases to awards resulting from changes of circumstances take effect.

Individuals transitioning from CDP to ADP will receive a determination on their ADP award. Following this determination, they will receive one further CDP payment (four-weekly in arrears or seven days in advance, in line with their current payment cycle) and their entitlement to CDP will end on that day. Their entitlement to ADP will begin on the day after this last CDP payment, and they will receive their first ADP payment following the same payment cycle as their previous CDP payment cycle.

Individuals whose ADP award is greater than their previous CDP award will have their first ADP payment backdated to ensure they are not disadvantaged by this change. Where an ADP award is lower than the previous CDP award the change in award will take effect on the date of the first ADP payment, ensuring individuals will not receive an overpayment.

We welcome these changes as they reduce the potential for complications and disruption for the recipient at the point of transition (with e.g. monthly expenditures such as rent, direct debits etc.) but note the potential for some individuals to be slightly disadvantaged, as an increase in their entitlement to a UK benefit is delayed.

Where an individual has been selected for transfer to ADP but then reports a relevant change of circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before their transfer determination has been made, the draft Regulations stipulate that the DWP should not take any action on the basis of this information, but should pass it on to Social Security Scotland. Social Security Scotland will then take that information into account when making its subsequent review determination.

When the review determination results in a higher award for individuals transferring from DLA to ADP, the effective date of this award is the date of transfer. An affected individual is therefore entitled to a back payment to the value of the additional amount between the date of transfer and the date on which the review determination takes effect.

When the review determination results in a higher award for individuals transferring from DLA to ADP, the effective date of this award is the date of the review determination. This avoids the risk of overpayments in the period between transfer and the review determination.

The draft Regulations make no changes to current practice, but do simplify the existing Regulations. We welcome the additional clarity these amendments will bring.

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