Renfrewshire South’s MSP has welcomed news that disabled people will have more choice in how they apply for benefits when the Scottish Government takes responsibility for Disability Assistance next year, when people will be able to apply online for the first time.

Under the current DWP system people can only apply for Disability Assistance by post or telephone, while the new Scottish system will enable people to choose to apply for the payment in the way that suits their needs – online or face-to-face, as well as by phone or by post.

Tom Arthur MSP said:

“Our new inclusive social security system puts people at its heart and is the largest piece of public sector delivery since devolution and real progress is being made. I hope that giving people more choice and flexibility about how to apply for assistance will encourage more people who are eligible to apply and get the money they are entitled to.

“The online application option together with the commitment to an improved assessment service will greatly improve the experience of people in Renfrewshire South who need Disability Assistance.

“By the end of this year Social Security Scotland will be delivering seven benefits, and these plans demonstrate the progress being made as we get ready to take responsibly for disability payments next year.”

Alongside the new online application system, additional work is being carried out on the internal systems that Social Security Scotland uses to manage and deliver benefits.  This will further develop the existing technology that is currently in place for the five benefits already in place, and the new benefits that will be introduced later this year.  The work will also ensure that the existing technology can support the complex job of managing the new disability benefits.

This work will be developed by DXC Technology, under a new contract awarded by the Scottish Government.


  • The DXC contract, worth £13.9m over three years, will focus on the design and configuration of the case management platform for disability and carer benefits, including integration and testing.
  • The contract for the online application system was awarded to Sopra Steria in November 2018. It is worth £5.2m over three years and will focus on the design and configuration of the client facing online application portal
  • Existing systems will support Carer’s Allowance Supplement, Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Early Learning Payment, School Age Payment, Best Start Foods, Funeral Support Payment, Young Carer Grant and Job Grant.
  • These new contracts will support the introduction of more complex benefits including the Scottish Government’s Disability  benefits, Carer’s Allowance, and Cold Weather Payments.
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