SCOTS eligible for disability benefit will not be subject to “degrading functional examinations”, a minister has pledged, as applications for the new payment open today.

The Adult Disability Payment replaces the Personal Independence Payment, and is designed to provide financial support to people aged between 16 and state pension age who are disabled, have a long-term health condition or have a terminal illness.

Ben Macpherson, Holyrood’s Minister for Social Security, said the launch was a “significant milestone in the development of our new social security system, that will treat everyone with dignity, fairness and respect”.

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Those already receiving the Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance will be automatically transferred from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to Social Security Scotland.

Macpherson said: “In our Scottish system no one will be subject to DWP style assessments or degrading functional examinations, and we will never use the private sector to carry out health examinations.

“People will only be invited to a consultation on occasions when we require more information so we can make a decision.

“This will be a conversation with a health and social care professional to understand how a person’s disability or health condition impacts them.”

The benefit, which is worth between £24.45 and £157.90 per week, will be paid out to more than 300,000 people north of the Border once the transfer is completed by the end of 2025.

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The benefit is being launched for applications after pilot schemes in 13 council areas, which began in March.

Moira Tasker, chief executive of Inclusion Scotland, described the benefit as a “leap forward”.

“It has the potential to enable disabled people and Scots with long-term health conditions to participate in their communities and wider Scottish society – whether that is through work, education, family life, or simply a life lived without fear of phone calls or letters demanding repeated assessments and sanctions,” she said.