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Residents in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and Western Isles council areas will now be able to apply for the Adult Disability Payment (ADP). The benefit will be administered by Social Security Scotland, replacing the PIP benefit delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Applications will be open to residents of the three areas aged between 16 and state pension age and have a terminal illness or long-term health condition.
The initial pilot scheme will only cover the Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and Western Isles council areas although other areas are said to be introduced gradually in phases.
A nationwide rollout is expected by August 29 this year.
Residents who currently claim PIP and Disability Living Allowance will not need to make an application as their awards will be automatically transferred from this summer.
ADP is the twelfth benefit that the Scottish Government has introduced, seven of which so far have been brand new support that is not available elsewhere in the UK.
The minister for Social Security in Scotland, Ben Macpherson, said they aim to develop a system “rooted in trust” that can “make sure people can access the support that they are entitled to”.
He commented: “Social security is a human right and none of us know when we might need it.”
“Launching this first Adult Disability Payment pilot is a significant milestone, as we start to deliver our biggest and most complex benefit.
“We are taking a positive and compassionate approach to delivering disability assistance, centred around our principles of dignity, fairness and respect.”
He added that the difficulties people face when applying for disability benefits in the past has not gone unnoticed.
He commented: “We know people have found applying for disability benefits stressful in the past. That is why we have listened to their experiences and have designed our service to work for people, not against them.”
“We are ensuring that accessing Adult Disability Payment is as straightforward as possible and we will always start from a position of trust.”
With ADP, applicants will only be required to have a consultation with a health and social care professional when more information is required to make a decision on their entitlement.
Mr Macpherson highlighted: “We are committed to giving people timely decisions, but our priority is making the right decisions first time and sometimes this may take a bit longer.
“This will reduce the need for people to go through a redetermination or appeal.”
It is expected that over 300,000 benefit claimants will have their PIP benefit replaced by ADP.
The automatic rollover should not affect their existing claim and payments.
It has been reported that in order to assess the claim, Social Security Scotland will gather evidence through one piece of formal supporting information.
Additionally, they may also seek to get information from other sources such as the applicants’ family, carers and friends.
Terminally ill applicants will be fast-tracked through the application process.
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