Welfare reforms over the recent years have made it more difficult for many disabled people to access the support they need.
This is according to a January 2020 report from the Scottish Government on the impact of welfare reform on disabled people from the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independent Payment (PIP).
The report also finds that
- Since the transition onto PIP began in 2013 25% of people undergoing a reassessment in Scotland have lost their DLA award without being awarded PIP. This represents 39,000 people experiencing a loss per person of between £1,200 and £7,740 per year.
- In understanding people’s experiences of disability benefits, many people felt strained by the process of application and appeal for benefits, there was a lack of trust in the benefits systems, and claimants experienced a lack of help and communication throughout the process.
- The number of children qualifying for Child DLA has increased by 36% between the PIP rollout in 2013 and May 2019. However, in recent years the average child DLA award entitlement has reduced in cash terms. Much of this reduction can be explained by the fact that children with learning difficulties, behavioural disorders and hyperkinetic syndrome are now less likely to receive the highest care component and more likely to be awarded the middle rate, which is lower in value.
- The rollout of PIP has made the composition of pension-age disability benefits more complex in recent years. Older disabled people may now be in receipt of either PIP, DLA or Attendance Allowance (AA) depending on the date of their claim, and whether they were above or below pension-age at the time of the PIP rollout in 2013.
- The Scottish Government plan to launch Disability Assistance in place of the DLA, PIP and AA. Each form of assistance has been designed in a person-centred way using input from people with lived experience of the benefit system and a public consultation with 189 individuals and 74 organisations.