WinVisible is delighted that disabled young people in Scotland will be able to stay on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) up to the age of 18, and not be forced to make a new Personal Independence Payment claim at 16.
The Scottish Government is using its devolved powers to bring in this change from 1 April 2020. At the moment, teenagers on DLA are having their DLA stopped and are going through the stressful application process, outsourced to Atos and Capita. There is no guarantee of a PIP award or at the same level as before. Many mums and other family carers are put under enormous stress doing the application, as carer benefits are tied to getting DLA/PIP and so the whole household income is at stake.
This is one of several benefit improvements which the Scottish Government has added on to the DWP system, including the Carers Allowance Supplement which consists of a £230.10 lump sum twice a year (not that much) and maternity provision.
In 2018 WinVisible wrote a blog post about winning PIP assessments for teenagers. We were contacted by mums whose disabled daughters aged 16 and in mental distress were having to contend with face-to-face interviews for PIP which were inappropriate for their situation, and loss of DLA and carer benefits. We helped them to win paper-based assessment, but what had already happened to them before they got in touch, was already very damaging to the families.
Scottish Social Security Secretary, Shirley Anne Somerville, said about this change:
‘We know from people like June Jamieson, a parent who has had direct experience of the current system, that making the transition from child to adult services can be a challenging time for their child and family.
“Adding to this, young people may be going through changes in a number of other areas of their life at the same time. We’ve also been told that the fact that this transition is to PIP creates even more stress and anxiety.
“This is why we are using our new social security powers to extend the eligibility, ease the pressure on families and make sure young people in Scotland have adequate time to move from children to adult social security support.
Our priority for people already getting this support from the DWP is to move them over in a safe and secure way and make sure that people get the financial support they expect, when and where they expect it.’
Read the full article here