Greens hail new fairer disability benefits

New Scottish disability benefits being introduced today do not have the humiliating face-to-face assessments regime of the UK’s PIP model, thanks to the Scottish Greens.

The Adult Disability Payment (ADP) opens for applications today, 21 April, in Dundee, Perth and Kinross and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, before being rolled out in the rest of Scotland over the course of the year. Recipients will receive up to £152.15 per week to assist them with the extra costs of living with a disability or health condition.

The assessment system for APD, which replaces the UK Personal Independence Payment, was overhauled after a legal ban on unnecessary benefits assessments was written into law in an amendment to the Social Security Act by then Green MSP Alison Johnstone in 2018.

This means that, instead of repeated stressful and humiliating in person assessments for PIP, written assessments will be used, with a more respectful and less intrusive approach used for further contact, only when more evidence is required.

Scottish Green social security spokesperson Maggie Chapman MSP said:

“Today marks an important step on Scotland’s journey towards a fairer social security system. PIP stigmatised disabled people and deliberately put barriers in their way to get the support they needed to live their lives on an equal basis with non-disabled people.

“The new Scottish payment removes the face-to-face assessments, hated by so many disabled people for the stress they caused. As well as making support more accessible, less stigmatising and less traumatising, these changes are likely to mean that payments will also be higher on average. That is good news for all those who rely on the support these payments provide.

“Following years of campaigning by disabled people, I am so proud it was the Scottish Greens that changed the law to make this happen.”