New Scottish disability benefit for pensioners

Pensioners in five Scottish local authorities will be the first to be eligible for a new disability benefit (subject to parliamentary approval of regulations).

From 21 October, Pension Age Disability Payment will be piloted in Argyll & Bute, Highland, Aberdeen City, Orkney and Shetland. The new benefit is a replacement for Attendance Allowance.

It will then become available in 13 more local authority areas on 24 March 2025 before becoming available across Scotland by 22 April 2025.  

The new benefit is for people of pension age who have a disability or long-term health condition that means they need help looking after themselves or supervision to stay safe.

It will not be means tested and is worth between £290 and £434 a month depending on the needs of the person who gets it.

There are currently over 150,000 people in Scotland who receive Attendance Allowance.

The new benefit was designed to include improvements such as a streamlined process for people to nominate a third party representative who can support them to communicate with Social Security Scotland.

Social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “In the midst of the cost of living crisis it is more important than ever that older people get the support they’re entitled to.

“We developed Pension Age Disability Payment by listening to the people who would be applying for it and those who support them. We made changes including making it easier for an eligible person to nominate a third party representative, something people told us was important for many older people.

“The pilot phase will allow us to put our different approach into practice, learning and improving before the benefit is rolled out across Scotland.

“If you think you might be eligible for support right now, I encourage you to apply for Attendance Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions.

“Anyone getting that benefit will automatically have their award transferred to Pension Age Disability Payment next year so there is no reason to wait.”

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