Organisations including Age Scotland have come together to call on the Scottish Government to include a mobility component in the payment.

A coalition of 15 national charities and organisations coordinated by Age Scotland, and including the ALLIANCE, is calling on the Scottish Government to improve their plans for the new Pension Age Disability Payment by including extra mobility and travel support for recipients. This would make the system fairer and offer disabled older people a better quality of life.

This extra support, called a mobility component, is available to younger people and people below State Pension age in receipt of disability linked social security such as Personal Independence Payment and Child and Adult Disability Payment, but has not previously been part of the older age equivalent, Attendance Allowance. Pension Age Disability Payment (PADP) is set to replace Attendance Allowance as a social security benefit in Scotland when it is devolved from next year to Social Security Scotland from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The organisations supporting the call for a mobility component are Age Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland, The ALLIANCE, Parkinson’s UK Scotland, Inclusion Scotland, Voluntary Health Scotland, Sight Scotland, Sight Scotland Veterans, MS Society Scotland, Disability Equality Scotland, Asthma + Lung UK Scotland, Scottish Women’s Convention, Stroke Association, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland and Marie Curie.

We believe including a mobility component would help safeguard older people’s independence and participation in society, enhance wellbeing, tackle social isolation and loneliness, and relieve pressure on frontline services, all while combatting poverty and low income challenges.

Attendance Allowance is a much-valued payment which helps many disabled older people with costs and promotes independence. However, although the equivalent disability benefits for children and working age people include a mobility component, Attendance Allowance does not.

A mobility component could potentially give disabled people over State Pension age – who cannot currently get any help through the benefits system with their mobility needs – access to the Motability Scheme, automatic eligibility for a Blue Badge, and the opportunity to apply for an exemption from paying vehicle tax. 

The organisations have produced a paper making the case for a mobility component to be included in the new payment and written to the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice urging the Scottish Government to commit to exploring this proposal. The Social Justice and Social Security Committee has also received a copy of the paper, which is available from the Age Scotland website here.

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