People challenging decisions to reduce their disability benefit under Scotland’s new social security system will be able to claim a short term assistance payment pending the hearing of their appeal.

Short term assistance will mean they continue to receive the amount of money they were getting before the decision was made to lower or stop their payment.

To ensure people are not put off seeking an appeal or redetermination, they will not have to repay short term assistance if the redetermination or appeal upholds the decision to lower or stop their social security payment.

The new benefit will be introduced alongside child disability payment, the Scottish Government’s replacement for disability living allowance for children.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville commented: "We know that it can be difficult for people who rely on disability assistance when their payment has been reduced or stopped. The decision to ask for a redetermination or appeal can be daunting. This new payment will give people the confidence to ask us to look again and to go to appeal if they feel they need to, ensuring they get everything they may be entitled while working through this process.

"We hope to drastically reduce the need for people to go through the redetermination and appeal process under our new system by getting the decisions right first time. Where we don’t get it right though, we will give people who rely on this service the opportunity to right this wrong, without being penalised."