Attendance Allowance to be scrapped and replaced with new payment for older people

The Pension Age Disability Payment is a new benefit set to be delivered by Social Security Scotland that will eventually replace Attendance Allowance for Scottish claimants.

People receiving the financial support in England and Wales will not be affected and will continue to receive regular payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The new Pension Age Disability Payment will support older people who have a disability which results in the need for additional assistance, or supervision to keep them safe.

It is part of a trio of new disability payments that will be delivered by the Scottish Government.

The other benefits are the Adult Disability Payment, which will replace PIP this year, and the Child Disability Payment, which replaced Disability Living Allowance for Children (DLA for Child) in November, 2021.

The Scottish Government assumed responsibility for these three benefits along with Severe Disability Allowance and Industrial Injuries Disability Benefit in April 2020.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus on public services, a decision was made to delay the launch of Disability Assistance.

Adult Disability Payment launched to new claimants in three council areas on March 21 – Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles. The next phase of the rollout is on June 20 for new claimants living in Angus, North Lanarkshire or South Lanarkshire – find out more about the rollout dates here.

When will Pension Age Disability Payment replace Attendance Allowance?

Social Security Scotland have not yet set out a timetable for the roll-out of the Pension Age Disability Payment, however, full transfer of benefits from the DWP is expected to be completed by 2025.

Scottish claimants who currently receive Attendance Allowance will be transferred to the new returned system in stages after the new benefit has been introduced.

Who will be eligible to make a claim for the Pension Age Disability Payment?

It is anticipated that eligibility rules for Pension Age Disability Payment will remain similar to Attendance Allowance.

This benefit is for people who are of State Pension age or over, who have had their condition for at least six months and require additional care.

How will claims be assessed?

Social Security Scotland will make decisions about entitlement for Pension Age Disability Payment using the applicant’s account of their circumstances and existing supporting information.

There will be no face-to-face assessments as part of the application process, instead there will be dedicated support in all 32 local councils across Scotland to help claimants in a “person-centred approach”.

In an update on the progress of the new disability benefits, the Scottish Government said: “We are making the application process as simple and easy as possible to encourage and support people to apply for the payments they are entitled to.

The new benefit will be for people who are of State Pension age or over.

“The application process for disability assistance will be inclusive, accessible, provided in a range of formats and available through a range of routes (online, phone, post and in-person). We are making a number of improvements to the application form to include clear guidance on how the eligibility criteria is applied.

“This will ensure a client is supported in providing relevant information with in-person support available.”

Social Security Scotland have also said they will “assume responsibility, where necessary, for gathering information from various sources suggested by the individual” and that “consideration should be given to the supporting information that is most relevant in individual cases.”

Examples of supporting information include:

  • an occupational therapy assessment

  • a report from a district nurse

  • information from a partner

Payment rates for Pension Age Disability Payment

Social Security Scotland will provide the same rate of all forms of Disability Assistance as the current rate of the equivalent UK disability benefit, in this case, Attendance Allowance, and will increase the payment in line with inflation each year.

Based on the current 2022/2023 rates the weekly amounts of Pension Age Disability Payment will be:

  • lower rate – £61.85

  • higher rate – £92.40

How do I apply for the Pension Age Disability Payment?

You cannot apply for the new disability assistance benefit yet.

Anyone over State Pension age with a disability that means they need assistance with looking after themselves, or supervision to keep them safe, should continue to apply for Attendance Allowance through the DWP.

For the latest updates on the new Disability Assistance being delivered by Social Security Scotland, visit the website here.

To keep up to date with the changes to the benefits system in Scotland, join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group here, follow Record Money on Twitter hereor subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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