Welfare reform and older people in Scotland
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 is making substantial changes
to many people's benefit entitlement and income. Download
Age Scotland's factsheet for information on how this will
affect older people in Scotland (updated February 2014.) Full
details of some changes have yet to be released, so please
call the Silver Line Scotland 0800 4 70 80 90 for the latest
January 2014: Further changes for 'working age' Disability
Living Allowance (DLA) claimants
*If you were 65 or over before the 8th of April 2013
this does not apply to you.
Some disabled people who are currently claiming DLA for their
care and/or mobility needs will be affected by the changes
to the rules surrounding Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
sooner than expected.
Anyone who reports a change of circumstances to the DWP and
lives in a Scottish 're-assessment' area will be told to claim
PIP instead OF DLA. The 're-assessment area' covers the following
post code areas - EH, TD, DG and ML. Existent claimants of
DLA who live in this area also have the option to claim PIP
instead if they wish. We are urging people to think carefully
about their options if this applies to them.
April 2013: Housing Benefit for 'working age' people
in social housing
People who rent a home from a Council or Housing Association
can claim Housing Benefit to help pay their rent if they are
on a low income. The amount of Housing Benefit that 'working
age' people can receive will now be reduced by 14% or 25%
if they are considered to have more rooms than they need in
their home. The restriction does not affect people of Pension
Credit Age, but may do so in future if someone has a younger
April 2013: Council Tax Benefit
The way Council Tax Benefit is funded changes from April 2013,
but it will still be administered by your local Council and
in 2013 you may see no difference in the amount of Council
Tax you pay apart from increases in water charges.
April 2013: The Social Fund and the Scottish Welfare
At present, some people who need lump-sum payments in special
circumstances can get help from the Department for Work and
Pensions Social Fund. From April 2013 parts of the Social
Fund will be abolished. In Scotland a new fund called the
Scottish Welfare Fund will provide a source of funding in
the form of crisis grants and community care grants to people
in certain circumstances who meet the criteria. Local Councils
will be administering the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.
June 2013: Disability Living Allowance and Personal
For people aged between 16 and 64, Disability Living Allowance
(DLA) is going to be replaced by Personal Independence Payment
(PIP). PIP will be assessed based on a points system, and
will be quite different from DLA. Some people who currently
qualify for DLA will not qualify for PIP or may qualify for
a lower amount.
The budget for PIP is expected to be 20% less than the budget
for DLA, and there will be four types of payment instead of
the five which can be paid as DLA. Age Scotland advises that
anyone who thinks they may qualify for DLA should make a claim
immediately. From June 2013 no-one will be able to make a
new claim for DLA, they will have to claim PIP instead.
If you are under 65 when PIP is introduced, you will need
to claim DLA when your circumstances change, or over the next
few years when the DWP contacts you and tells you to claim
PIP instead of DLA. If you already receive DLA and are 65
when PIP is introduced, under current plans your DLA will
not be affected.
Universal Credit and Pension Credit
Universal Credit is due to be introduced from October 2013
to gradually replace means-tested benefits and tax credits
for working age people (child and working tax credit, income
based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Income related
Employment and Support Allowance, and Housing Benefit.)
As Housing Benefit and Child Tax Credit will be abolished,
Pension Credit will change in future to provide help with
rent, and to provide support for people who have dependent
When Universal Credit is introduced, couples in which one
partner is 'working age' and the other is 'pension age', will
no longer be able to make a new claim for claim Pension Credit,
they will need to claim for Universal Credit instead.
In April 2013 there will be changes to the benefits appeal
system, the piloting of a 'benefit cap' for many working age
households and the 1% uprating of most working age benefits
and tax credits which will also affect people over pension
credit age that care for dependent children. The new White
Paper on Pension Reform proposes an increased standard basic
rate of retirement pension for people retiring from 2017.
Members please note: some of the above Welfare Reform information
may not affect you due to your age, but may affect some member
of your family and friends.
Contact points for Age Scotland:
Silver Line Scotland
For information, advice and friendship, all day, every day.
0800 4 70 80 90
Call this number if you want to get involved with our work.
0845 833 0200
Write to us
Age UK is the main site for pensioners information in UK.
Most of this information covers Ireland Wales; England; and
Scotland, but some information can vary in Scotland. I will
always try to indicate which information is from Age UK, or
Age Scotland, but if in doubt I would suggest you call Age
Scotland first to see whether data is applicable in Scotland.