Scottish Labour has urged the SNP leadership candidates to pledge to fix the “chaos” engulfing devolved social security, as figures show waits for disability support in Scotland have overtaken the DWP’s.
Adult Disability Payments (ADP) were introduced in Scotland as a replacement for PIP and were expected to deliver a decisive move away from the DWP’s callous system.
However, latest statistics show average waits for ADP are now longer than those for PIP – with Scots waiting close to 16 weeks, compared to average waits of 14 weeks for PIP.
The SNP originally pledged that Social Security Scotland would “aim to make a decision in 8-10 weeks” – however, they quietly abandoned this target.
In January more than 77 per cent of decisions took longer than the target 10 weeks, with a shocking 130 of those applications waiting more than half a year for this lifeline support.
Labour has branded these delays "devastating" in the middle of the cost of living crisis, which charities have warned is hitting disabled people harder due to higher energy costs and increased risk of poverty.
A survey by Inclusion Scotland found that over three quarters of their respondents were going without or cutting back on essentials, with a number of people warning that the crisis could be deadly.
Commenting, Scottish Labour Social Security spokesperson Pam Duncan-Glancy said:
“At a time when bills are soaring and people are facing destitution, these delays are devastating.
“We were promised a change from the cruelty of the DWP – but disabled people are spending even longer in limbo, waiting months on end for lifeline support.
“The SNP leadership candidates are busy bickering over how many months it will take to build an independent Scotland, but social security is still in chaos 7 years after we got these powers.
“The next First Minister must end this betrayal and start delivering on the promise of a fairer, more humane social security system.”
Notes to editors
Median waits for ADP in January – 79 working days (Table 9)
Median waits for PIP in January – 14 weeks (Table 1A)
Source: Adult Disability Payment Tables March 2023
Inclusion Scotland – Cost of living crisis: What’s the impact on disabled people?
77% of respondents said they were currently going without or cutting back on essentials.
Respondents warned: “I am worried people will die.”