Disability Assistance

Since April 2020 executive competence has been devolved for several forms of disability assistance with current annual spending of around £3 billion. Initially these have continued to be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions under Agency Agreements.

The Scottish Government plans to launch replacements for most of these payments, administered by Social Security Scotland. Child Winter Heating Assistance was launched in late 2020. The Child Disability Payment pilot began in July 2021 with a full launch planned for the autumn.

The full launch of the new Adult Disability Payment to replace Personal Independence Payment is planned for summer 2022, and was included in our forecasts for the first time in August 2021. Launch dates for the other new payments are still to be confirmed, and for these our forecasts are based on UK Government policy until more policy and implementation details are available.

Adult Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment (ADP) is the Scottish Government’s replacement for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Both PIP and ADP provide financial assistance to contribute towards the increased costs incurred by an individual because of a disability or long-term health condition.

ADP will be piloted in spring 2022 and fully launched in summer 2022, replacing PIP for new applicants, with all PIP recipients eventually moving to ADP. Our ADP forecast shows the total spending we expect across ADP and PIP.

We expect that the differences between ADP and PIP, particularly around the application and review process, will mean that spending on ADP is significantly higher than what would otherwise have been spent on PIP. We set out the details of these differences and our estimates of the costs in Annex A of our August 2021 forecast.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is for people over State Pension age who need someone to help look after them because of a disability. It is devolved to the Scottish Parliament from April 2020. DWP will continue to administer AA on behalf of the Scottish Government until it is replaced by a new Pension Age Disability Payment administered by Social Security Scotland. Our forecasts do not yet account for differences between Attendance Allowance and Pension Age Disability Payment.  

Child Disability Payment

Our Child Disability Payment forecast covers both Disability Living Allowance (Child), and the new Child Disability Payment, which is being piloted since July 2021, and due to launch nationally in Autumn 2021. These payments aim to mitigate the increased costs that children and young people, as well as their families, face as a result of having a disability or long term condition.

Our forecast includes the estimated costs of the difference between the new Scottish payment and the replaced UK payment. These cost were initially are set out our February 2020 forecast publication; and updated to reflect the latest policy changes in January 2021. The new Child Disability Payment was previously described as ‘Disability Assistance for Children and Young People’.

Child Winter Heating Assistance

This is an annual payment, paid each winter for children and young people who receive the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or Child Disability Payment.

Disability Living Allowance (Adult)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) provides help with the extra costs associated with long‑term ill health or disability. It is now closed to new applications, and since 2013 is being gradually replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) across the UK. The transfer of adult DLA recipients to PIP has now stopped in Scotland.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Scheme

The term Industrial Injuries Disablement Scheme covers payments which an individual may receive if they become ill or are disabled because of a disease or accident at work. It is devolved from April 2020. The Scottish Government plans to launch a replacement Employment Injury Assistance payment but our forecasts do not yet include an estimate of how much this new payment will cost compared to the UK system.

Severe Disablement Allowance

Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) is a form of disability assistance which has been closed to new applications since 2001. It continues to be administered by DWP under Agency Agreement following devolution of executive competence in April 2020.

Forecast spending for Disability Assistance

£ million 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27
Adult Disability Payment 1,626 1,741 1,958 2,313 2,541 2,752 2,972
Attendance Allowance 528 520 559 585 603 625 647
Child Disability Payment 208 227 264 299 319 335 351
Child Winter Heating Assistance 3 3 3 4 4 4 4
Disability Living Allowance (Adult) 514 472 439 408 374 340 307
Industrial Injuries Disablement Scheme 83 80 80 80 79 78 76
Severe Disablement Allowance 7 7 6 6 5 5 4