New Scottish powers to control benefits in Scotland

New Scottish powers to control benefits in Scotland

The Scottish Government will soon become responsible for some of the benefits currently paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). We may see new names, new rules and new ways of paying benefits. There is no decision yet on when exactly each benefit will be transferred to Scotland.

Benefits being transferred include:

  • Disability and carers’ benefits (attendance allowance (AA), disability living allowance (DLA), personal independence payment (PIP), carer’s allowance (CA), industrial injuries disablement benefit and severe disablement allowance);
  • Social fund (Sure Start maternity grant, funeral payment, cold weather payment and winter fuel payment);
  • Discretionary housing payments
  • Healthy Start vouchers

Universal credit (UC) stays with the UK but Scotland will have the power to:

  • change the frequency of payments – e.g., fortnightly rather than monthly;
  • split payments between couples;
  • pay housing costs directly to landlords;
  • vary the housing cost elements of UC, including the under-occupancy charge and local housing allowance rates, eligible rent, and deductions for non-dependents”.

Means-tested benefits, tax credits and all other benefits remain reserved to the UK; although Scotland may be able to top them up and even create new benefits that relate to other devolved policy areas such as health and social care.

The Social Security Bill is due to be introduced before the Scottish Parliament in June 2017.

Read more about the background to Scotland’s new social security system.

Have Your Say. Join the Experience Panels and help shape the new Scottish social security system. Register online by 12 May 2017.

Scotland Act 2016 Universal Credit.pdf

Call our freephone lone parent helpline on 0808 801 0323 if you need advice.

Posted in Information & Advice, News.

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