Timetable for remaining devolved benefits outlined.

Responsibility for all devolved benefits, including their funding, will sit with the Scottish Government from 1 April next year, with delivery for disability benefits rolled out shortly after.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville today told Parliament how:

  • New claims for disability assistance for children and young people will start in summer 2020
  • Claims for older people’s disability payments will open by the end of 2020
  • Disability benefits for Working Age People – the Scottish replacement of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – will open early in 2021

The system will have a redesigned application process and significantly fewer face to face assessments, which will be carried out through the agency by qualified assessors and audio-recorded as standard. There will be rolling awards with no set end points and those with fluctuating health conditions will not face additional reviews due to regular changes in needs related to their condition. We will also move the burden of collecting information from the client to Social Security Scotland.

Ms Somerville said:

Since the Social Security Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament in June last year, progress has been swift.  

“Our first priority was to deliver for carers, and we have already – through the Carers Allowance Supplement – paid out over £33 million to more than 77,000 carers.

“I have been delighted with the success of Best Start Grant which has put £2.7 million into the pockets of more than 7,000 families in Scotland – more in the first two months of operation than the DWP benefit it replaced paid out in a year.

“Our next priority is delivering payments for disabled people, as this is where we can make the most meaningful difference for the largest number of people”.


A copy of the Cabinet Secretary’s full statement is available here

The timetable for the delivery of devolved benefits is:

  • In 2019, Best Start Grant, Funeral Expense Assistance, and the Young Carer Grant will be delivered
  • The brand new Job Grant, which we are currently consulting on, will help young people moving back into employment
  • In summer 2020, Social Security Scotland will open to new claims for Disability Assistance for Children and Young People, our replacement for Child Disability Living Allowance
  • By end 2020, children who receive the highest care component of Disability Assistance will also be entitled to Winter Heating Assistance
  • By end 2020, Social Security Scotland will open to new claims for Disability Assistance for Older People, our replacement for Attendance Allowance, for people over the state pension age who need someone to help look after them because of a disability or long-term illness
  • In early 2021, Social Security Scotland will open to new claims for the most complex form of Disability Assistance for Working Age People, our replacement for the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • By the end of 2021 Social Security Scotland will also open to new claims for Carer’s Assistance, our replacement for Carer’s Allowance, folding together that benefit, Carer’s Allowance Supplement and additional money for carers of more than one disabled child in a way that meets carers’ needs
  • end of 2021 – Winter Heating Assistance and Cold Spell Heating Assistance delivered to some eligible recipients in their current form and to those in receipt of assistance from Social Security Scotland. An agency agreement will mean the DWP processes payments for the remaining recipients, with Social Security Scotland growing the caseload year on year.

You can read the full Scottish Government press release here

A full suite of position papers that outlines the work undertaken to determine upon the delivery schedule is available here

A Q&A on devolved benefits is available here



Find out more on new social security powers:

W: beta.gov.scot/policies/social-security/

T:  @ScotGovFairer