People in Scotland are waiting twice as long for disability payments as those in England, according to figures.
Statistics showed people applying for Adult Disability Payment in Scotland wait more than 19 weeks on average for a decision, while people in England and Wales applying for PIP with the Department of Work and Pensions wait around nine weeks.
Average waits in Scotland have increased since the payments were first rolled out, rising from 45 working days in September 2022 to 96 working days in April 2023.
Adult Disability Payment is available to people aged between 16 and State Pension age, 66, who are disabled, have a long-term health condition or a terminal illness.
The Scottish Government has said those getting the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) PIP will be switched over to ADP, which is managed by Social Security Scotland by the end of 2025.
Around 700,000 payments for disabled people and carers are set to be transferred.
Scottish Labour has branded the SNP’s handling of disability payments “disastrous” and said long waits will leave disabled people out of pocket during a cost of living crisis.
Scottish Labour social security spokesperson Paul O’Kane said: “Scotland’s social security system has fallen into utter chaos at the hands of the SNP.
“Their disastrous incompetence has left disabled people stuck in limbo for months and out of pocket during the worst cost of living crisis in decades.
“We were promised an end to the DWP’s callous approach, but instead the SNP has managed to outdo them.
“This betrayal must end – we urgently need to get this system working so people aren’t left waiting months on end for lifeline support.”
The cabinet secretary for social justice Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “We know some people are waiting an unacceptably long time for Adult Disability Payment and are taking concerted action to speed this up. People should be assured that we backdate all payments to date of application.
“The way we are delivering this benefit through Social Security Scotland is different to the previous methods of the DWP.
“Our focus is on getting the decision right first time and statistics show this is working with only 6% of people asking for a re-determination.
“We also help people apply, including collecting information on their behalf. Under the previous system people had to do this themselves before applying.
“This is a really important service for those who need it, but it can take time. The work going on to speed this up, will ensure people get the right decision in a timely manner.”