Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations: scrutiny report
The Scottish Commission on Social Security's scrutiny report on the draft Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations for Adult Disability Payment with recommendations for the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations (referred to in this report as ‘the draft Regulations’).
The draft Regulations provide the legislative basis for the introduction of Adult Disability Payment (ADP), a new Scottish benefit which replaces Personal Independence Payment starting from spring 2022. Three disability benefits have been devolved to Scotland: Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance (AA). These UK benefits are now being replaced by new forms of devolved disability assistance. The first of these, Child Disability Payment (CDP), which replaces DLA for children, is currently being piloted ahead of it being available across Scotland from November 2021. ADP is the second benefit to be introduced and will replace PIP.
There are around 46,000 children and young people in Scotland getting DLA from the Department for Work and Pensions who will be transferred to CDP by Social Security Scotland. ADP represents a significant scaling up of delivery for Social Security Scotland, with over 300,000 people expected to be getting PIP when ADP is introduced. Given the step change in numbers, to ensure safe and secure transition, Charter commitments around building a diverse, well-trained workforce, embedding a culture of dignity and respect and designing processes that work assume critical importance. However, the Commission is aware that the equally important Charter commitment to ‘look for ways to make eligibility rules fairer’ is still of pressing concern. We comment more on the concerns and potential to improve eligibility rules in this report. We also briefly flag some possible implications for ADP Regulations (and devolved social security more widely) of the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) Health and Disability Green Paper, published on 20 July 2021, though much of this is necessarily speculative at the time of writing. It will be important to remain alert to the implications of change to UK disability benefits, given the intricate interdependencies between the two systems.