The Disability Assistance for Older People (Scotland) Regulations 2024: scrutiny report

The Scottish Commission on Social Security's scrutiny report on the draft Disability Assistance for Older People (Scotland) Regulations 2024

6. Renal dialysis

Someone over pension age who has help with regular renal dialysis can qualify automatically for the lower rate of Pension Age Disability Payment (draft regulation 7). The rule is the same as for Attendance Allowance. This is a helpful provision. Without this automatic qualification, people undergoing haemodialysis, who normally have four days a week free of treatment, may not qualify for benefit.

Depending on the type of dialysis, it is generally carried out three times a week during the day, or throughout each night. Normally, someone who has care needs during the day and at night could get the higher rate of PADP. However, someone who has help with dialysis at a time that starts before the household would normally go to bed and continues into the night, could still only qualify automatically for the lower rate of PADP.

Although there is a similar provision for children claiming Child Disability Payment, there is a significant difference from PADP. Children who have help with dialysis both day and night automatically qualify for the highest rate of the care component whereas those of pension age would get the lower rate of PADP. With the eligibility conditions for Child Disability Payment and PADP care component being mostly the same, this difference is noteworthy. It means that in this respect PADP is aligned with Attendance Allowance but not with Child Disability Payment.1The Disability Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Regulations 2021 (, section 16; for Adult Disability Payment there is no automatic qualification, but over 14 hours a week of dialysis at home with support would qualify someone for the standard rate of the daily living component (The Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (, schedule 1 part 2 – Daily Living Activities, Activity (3)).

There is good reason to keep PADP eligibility conditions the same as Attendance Allowance until everyone on Attendance Allowance has transferred to PADP. However, we note that the Scottish Government did take the opportunity to make it easier to access the highest rate of Child Disability Payment for families of children dialysing both day and night when it replaced Disability Living Allowance for children. It would be timely to consider whether older people would also benefit from easier access.

Observation 1: Older people needing help with renal dialysis day and night have access to a lower automatic rate of benefit than young people. The introduction of Pension Age Disability Payment is an opportunity for the Scottish Government to consider whether this is the best policy.

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