Improving supporting information for disability benefit applications
When designing our new disability benefits, we wanted to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.
We only need one piece of supporting information from a professional to make a decision on an application for Child Disability Payment or Adult Disability Payment. This supporting information should broadly confirm a client’s conditions, disability or needs.
Supporting information can come from a range of professionals including support workers, teachers and physiotherapists and can include social care assessments, prescription lists or children’s additional needs reports.
Our goal is to make the right decision first time so people get the financial support that they are entitled to.
Supporting information is a crucial part of this process. We want all clients and professionals to understand what supporting information is, where to find it, who can provide it and how to send it.
We updated our application form and other guidance to encourage people to provide supporting information with their application if they can as this is normally the fastest way to get a decision.
Unlike the DWP, we can also collect supporting information on behalf of the person applying if they ask us to, though this means the process can take longer.
We created a leaflet and video to explain supporting information and are encouraging our stakeholders to use and share these resources with disabled people who could be eligible for our disability benefits. We have also updated guidance online at mygov.scot.
More detailed guidance for professionals is available and we are improving the system for uploading documents so that it is faster and easier for professionals to send us supporting information.
In addition to the one piece of supporting information from a professional, people can also provide supporting information form their wider support network, such as a family member, partner, or friend. While this is not essential, it can help us understand a client's needs.
Craig, one of the health and social care professionals who supports our client advisers to process disability benefit applications, said:
“Supporting information helps us to build up a picture of how a person is affected by their disability.
“I worked as a nurse for 20 years and I can use a prescription list to help form a picture of the conditions that affect a person. Sometimes the list may highlight a condition that isn’t mentioned on the application. In a case like this, the supporting information means we can do better for this person because we’re able to put together their whole story.”
To find out more and apply online, over the phone or book an appointment to apply in-person, people can visit mygov.scot/disabilitybenefits or call us free on 0800 182 2222.