Since the Scottish Government assumed responsibility for delivering disability benefits in April 2020, major changes are happening north of the border. Essentially, benefits traditionally administered by the department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are now being devolved to Scotland’s Edinburgh-based Government. Let's see how this could potentially affect drivers with a disability and carers who lease a vehicle through the Motability customers in Scotland.
Benefit names will change over the next three years. Our understanding is that arrangements for current and prospective Motability Scheme members will be very similar to the existing ones and that Motability customers in Scotland can look forward to a smooth transition.
For full details, and to fully understand your eligibility, contact DWP or Social Security Scotland. In the meantime, please read on for our brief overview…
Let’s start with the widely reported news that Social Security Scotland, with its head office in Dundee and major subsidiary office in Glasgow, has introduced a new disability allowance for Scotland’s children and young people.
In Scotland the Child Disability Payment is replacing the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit called Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
The changeover began in October 2021 and is expected to continue until 2023.
If you receive higher rate mobility Child Disability Payment for your child and live in Scotland, you should be able to lease a brand new car for three years under Motability just as you could using the Disability Living Allowance. To be eligible, you must meet these criteria:
If you meet these requirements you can lease a car through the Motability Scheme. Alternatively, you could choose to lease a mobility scooter, powered wheelchair or a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV).
Children who are awarded the new Child Disability Payment will remain entitled to this allowance up to the age of 18. This is a change to the rest of the UK, where child DLA stops at 16 and children have to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
The Child Disability Payment’s roll out isn’t the only change to Scottish benefits. Major changes to PIP and Attendance Allowance are also on Scotland’s benefits horizon.
Other imminent benefit changes relate to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and the Disability Living Allowance (DLA but for over 18's) that's being replaced by a new Adult Disability Payment (ADP) in Scotland from spring 2022. Similar eligibility criteria will apply, including the requirement that recipients have at least 12 months remaining on their award.
The Scottish Government website says: ‘People who get the highest rate of the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment [this was previously known as PIP] will be able to transfer either the whole or part of the money they get for the mobility component to access the Accessible Vehicles and Equipment Scheme.’
This is the name of the new Scottish scheme enabling Motability to provide a similar service to current and future Motability Scheme customers. Just as with Motability, eligible applicants will have access to a range of cars, WAVs, scooters and powered wheelchairs with an affordable leasing plan. Numerous vehicle adaptations will also be available at low or no cost.
Under the Accessible Vehicles and Equipment Scheme existing Motability customers will be able to keep their current vehicle until the lease period ends.
Pension Age Disability Payment (PADP) is another new name in Scottish benefits for 2022. In due course, it will replace Attendance Allowance.
Historically, in Scotland and the rest of the UK, it hasn’t been possible to join Motability using Attendance Allowance in Scotland. Our understanding is that this won’t change with the introduction of PADP.
You can only join the Motability Scheme if you (or someone you care for) receive any of the following allowances and have at least 12 months award remaining:
As always, if you think you might be eligible, please talk to Motability or Social Security Scotland.
Although devolution of benefits to the Scottish Government officially began in early 2020, the roll out has been slower than originally envisaged because of the Covid pandemic.
Some future timing details remain unfinalised. What we do know is that introducing the changes will involve staged transfer of benefit recipients from the DWP to the new Scottish scheme. Our understanding is that migration of benefits should be complete by 2025.
From a Motability perspective, it seems clear that, though benefit names and their provider will change, it’s business as usual for access to leased Motability vehicles. That’s because the Scottish Government has accredited Motability to provide cars, WAVs, powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters to eligible disabled people – through the aforementioned Accessible Vehicles and Equipment Scheme.
If you think a Motability vehicle would help your mobility, or continue to keep you mobile, please contact Motability or Social Security Scotland for more information.
With that, it’s fingers crossed for smooth devolution of benefits over the next few years, continued easy access to Motability for existing users in Scotland, and future provision of Motability vehicles to all who’ll benefit from this life-enhancing service.
Disclaimer: this article is intended as a high-level overview of ongoing changes. To the best of our knowledge, information was correct at the time of writing. If in doubt, please consult Motability or Social Security Scotland for the latest information.