Adult Disability Payment & disability benefits at 16

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Adult Disability Payment will replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled adults in Scotland.

In this article

What is Adult Disability Payment?

Adult Disability Payment is a new benefit being introduced in Scotland to replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

This new benefit will be piloted in spring 2022 before being rolled out across Scotland in summer 2022 to replace new claims for PIP. It is a disability benefit for disabled adults aged 16 and above.

Initially, Adult Disability Payment will have very similar rules to PIP, but the Scottish Government intends to carry out a full review of the benefit in the Summer of 2023.

When is Adult Disability Payment being introduced?

Adult disability payment will initially be piloted in the three council areas of Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and Western Isles.

From 21 March 2022, if your child lives in one of these three areas, is aged 16 or above and does not already get Disability Living Allowance (DLA), PIP or the Child Disability Payment, they won’t be able to make a new claim for PIP and will need to claim Adult Disability Payment instead.

Adult Disability Payment will then be extended to other council areas in phases:

  • From 20 June 2022, it will be extended to the council areas of Angus, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.
  • From 25 July 2022, it will be further extended to Fife, City of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire council areas.

Then on 29 August 2022, Adult Disability Payment will be rolled out across the rest of Scotland to replace all new claims for PIP.

From August, working age adults in Scotland who already get DLA or PIP will also start to be transferred onto Adult Disability Payment. This will happen in stages.

What disability benefits can my child currently claim at 16?

When Adult Disability Payment is fully introduced, it will be the main benefit for young people and adults aged 16 and over. In the meantime:

My child currently claims DLA or Child Disability Payment

New rules were introduced in September 2020 that see young people in Scotland continue to receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) until they turn 18. Previously, DLA claimants were invited to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) shortly after they turned 16. Similarly any child awarded Child Disability Payment before their 16th birthday can stay on that benefit until they turn 18.

So, if your child is turning 16 and already gets DLA or Child Disability Payment, they aren’t expected to claim PIP. Instead they will continue to get that benefit until they turn 18.

A young person in Scotland can still opt to move onto PIP before age 18 if they want. To do this, they will have to make an application for PIP. Any 16-year-old on DLA/child disability payment who considering this should first seek detailed advice from a benefits adviser as many disabled people are worse off under PIP. Claiming PIP will end the DLA/child disability payment award – even if you later try and withdraw the PIP claim. 

My child does not currently claim any disability benefits

Anyone aged 16 or above who does not already get DLA or Child Disability Payment can’t make a new claim for one of these benefits and needs to claim PIP instead.

The rules extending DLA to the age of 18 in Scotland only apply to young people who were getting DLA immediately before their 16th birthday. If someone isn’t already getting DLA by their 16th birthday, they can’t make a new claim after that date and will need to claim PIP.

However during 2022, new claims for PIP in Scotland will be replaced by the Adult Disability Payment.