Attendance Allowance to be replaced in Scotland – who is eligible?

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Currently, those of state pension age are eligible for Attendance Allowance if they need help with the financial costs that arise from having a long-term health condition or illness. However, older people who live in Scotland will receive a new payment as more social security powers are devolved to the Scottish Government. This new payment for older people in the country will be called the Pension Age Disability Payment.

Unlike the majority of benefit payments, this support will not be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Instead, the Pension Age Disability Payment will be managed by Social Security Scotland.

Recently, the Scottish Government’s equivalent to the DWP has taken over the administration of disability benefits in the country.

Notably, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has been replaced with Adult Disability Payment in Scotland.

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Similarly, those of state pension age with a disability will get the Pension Age Disability Payment in the near future.

It will replace Attendance Allowance for around 124,192 existing benefit claimants in Scotland

The new disability payment will also be available for all new applications based in Scotland only.

It should be noted that any Attendance Allowance claimants living in England and Wales will not have their payments affected.

As it stands, no set deadline has been laid out for when Pension Age Disability Payment will be rolled out nationwide but a full transfer of benefits control is expected to be carried out by 2025.

State pensioners currently in receipt of Attendance Allowance in Scotland will not have to reapply for the new disability payment.

It is believed the same people eligible for Attendance Allowance will also be entitled to Pension Age Disability Payment.

Under current DWP rules, Attendance Allowance claimants must be of state pension age or older, have had their disability or condition for at least six months and be in receipt of extra care.

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On top of this, the new disability payment for pensioners in Scotland is expected to be the same as its DWP equivalent.

If this were to be the case, the Pension Age Disability Payment would be raised every year at the same rate as inflation.

Based on the current rates of Attendance Allowance, the weekly amounts of Pension Age Disability Payment would be £61.85 and £92.40 for the lower and higher rates, respectively.

Recently, the Scottish Government outlined what the assessment process would be like for Adult Disability Payment, the replacement for PIP.

This gives state pensioners an idea of how they may be assessed for Pension Age Disability Payment once it is introduced.

Ben Macpherson, the Scottish Government’s minister for Social Security, explained: “In our system no one will be subject to DWP style assessments or degrading functional examinations, and we will never use the private sector to carry out health examinations.

“People will only be invited to a consultation on occasions when we require more information so we can make a decision.

“This will be a conversation with a health and social care professional to understand how a person’s disability or health condition impacts them.”

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