People living in a further seven Scottish council areas have become eligible for the adult disability payment.
Those in Aberdeenshire, City of Aberdeen, Fife, Moray, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire will now be able to apply.
It brings the total number of council areas where the payment has been introduced to 13 ahead of it opening nationwide from August 29.
Applications were opened for Dundee, Perth and the Western Isles in March, and Angus, North Lanarkshire, and South Lanarkshire in June.
The payment replaces the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and is the 12th benefit to be delivered by the Scottish Government.
It 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.
Those already receiving PIP and Disability Living Allowance do not need to make an application for the Adult Disability Payment.
Existing awards will transfer automatically from the DWP to Social Security Scotland.
Cases will transfer in stages from this summer, with the process expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
Minister for social security Ben Macpherson encouraged those who may be eligible to check and apply for the benefit.
“We are taking a positive, responsible and compassionate approach to delivering disability benefits. This is in contrast to aspects of the current UK Government system,” said Macpherson.
The Scottish Government is committed to treating people with dignity, fairness and respect and we start from a position of trust.
“Adult Disability Payment is an important financial support to provide security and help people live well. I would encourage anyone in Scotland who could be eligible to please check and apply.
“We want people to get support that they’re entitled to, because social security is a shared investment to help build a fairer and better society together.”
Macpherson explained that the private sector will never be used to carry out health assessments as part of the application process.
“When people apply for our disability benefits, we are focused on making the right decisions first time to reduce the need for people to go through a redetermination or appeal,” he continued.
“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, and if required we will obtain that information for people.
“We will never use the private sector to carry out health assessments and there won’t be any degrading functional examinations such as asking a client to ‘touch their toes’.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country