People in North Ayrshire are now able to apply for Adult Disability Payment early.

This means the new payment is now available in 13 council areas ahead of opening nationwide on August 29.

It is the twelfth and most complex benefit to be delivered by the Scottish Government and replaces the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment. The benefit provides 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.

People already receiving the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance do not need to make an application for Adult Disability Payment. These existing awards will transfer automatically from the DWP to Social Security Scotland. Cases will transfer in stages starting from this summer and this process is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to treating people with dignity, fairness and respect and we start from a position of trust.

“I would encourage anyone in Scotland who could be eligible to please check and apply.

“When Social Security Scotland is making a decision it will only need one formal piece of supporting information from a professional, such as a social care assessment, medical report or prescription list.

“We will never use the private sector to carry out health assessments and there won’t be any degrading examinations such as asking a client to ‘touch their toes’.”