No changes are proposed for the 20 metre and 50% eligibility rules, which had been highlighted by multiple respondents as points of concern.
Following a consultation on the proposed Adult Disability Payment (ADP) regulations, which is due to replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in 2022, the Scottish Government have published their analysis of submissions, and their own response to issues raised.
In our response to the consultation, the ALLIANCE underscored the need to move to rights based approach to social security, and were one of a number of organisations expressing concern about the 20 metre and 50% rules governing eligibility.
In their response to submissions, the Scottish Government acknowledged the concerns relating to the eligibility rules, but stated their intention to continue applying both rules under ADP. The Government expressed their own concerns that substantial changes to eligibility would risk the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) not recognising ADP as an equivalent entitlement to PIP, and as a result withdrawing the automatic entitlement to certain reserved aspects of social security such as Housing Benefit.
The Government have suggested instead that reforms to the process for assessing eligibility will make a substantive improvement to recipients lives. In addition to the already stated intention to move towards “light-touch” re-assessments and to rely on already existing supporting evidence, they have proposed a further change to the regulations where an in-person consultation is still required. This would entail bespoke consultation periods, rather than the standard duration of DWP consultations. It is hoped this will reduce the stress on applicants, and allow more time to develop a proper understanding of their condition.
The response indicates a continued commitment to move away from the medical model of disability, and to review ADP once the safe and secure transition is complete. The ALLIANCE welcomes this commitment, but urges a broader review of disability assistance in general, to build a rights based social security system in line with the recommendations from the Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security.