The Scottish Government has announced the introduction of additional benefits that will help struggling Scots with extra cash in 2022.
The newly introduced Adult Disability Payment (ADP) and an extension to the existing Scottish Child Payment (SCP) will aid more individuals and families next year.
From April 2022, the Scottish Child Payment will increase by £20 which will benefit over 110,000 children under the age of six.
The aim is to expand by the end of 2022 to support 400,000 under-16s.
The newly introduced Adult Disability Payment will replace the UK’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Social Security Scotland will deliver 12 payments to 1.8 million – or around one in three – people in Scotland next year.
PIP will be phased out in spring 2022 to make way for the more complexly calculated ADP, delivered by the Scottish Government.
Phase one of the delivery of ADP will begin in the Western Isles, Perth and Kinross and Dundee in March 2022 with wider expansion to other local authorities in August.
In anticipation of the rollout of the new benefits, Social Security Scotland, formed in 2018, is recruiting 2,000 new staff to cope with added demand with recruits beginning to process applications early in the new year.
Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said: “2022 will be our biggest year yet in building a new social security system for Scotland with the powers we have.
“The major milestones of introducing Adult Disability Payment and extending Scottish Child Payment will be transformative for many people with a disability or health condition and families on low incomes.
‘Hope to lift 40,000 Scottish children out of poverty in 2023/24’
“From April the doubling of our Scottish Child Payment will significantly help us to reduce child poverty and build a fairer society.
“The £20 payment per child per week will be four times what was originally asked for by anti-poverty campaigners and we hope to lift 40,000 Scottish children out of poverty in 2023/24.”
The new benefits system delivered by Social Security Scotland will not have any private sector involvement and relies on information gathering by its agents, unlike the DWP who has applicants provide supporting documents.
The system will fast-track applicants experiencing long-term health issues and judge based on medical advice.
Mr Macpherson added: “As well as the positive impact of paying benefits, Social Security Scotland is also growing as an employer.
This rapid development is not only making a difference in our communities but is also creating long-term secure employment across the country, and a £280 million contribution to our wider economy – something we can all welcome.
“Scotland’s social security system is built on the values of dignity, fairness and respect, and these are the principles which will always guide us as we develop this important public service.”
Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive, Derek Mitchell, said: “Citizens Advice Scotland supported the introduction and then doubling of the Scottish Child Payment because we know the difference it can make to families across the country.
“With the cost of living starting to really bite people can get help and advice from the Citizens Advice network to see what support they are entitled to.