In general, passported benefits play an important role in helping people to maximise their income and by providing help to meet specific essential costs that they would otherwise be unable to pay for. The myriad of passported benefits available includes help with the costs of the school day, health costs, legal costs, costs associated with raising babies and young children and the costs of essential utilities amongst others. They also provide vital support for disabled people, in the form of access to the Motability scheme, Blue Badges and concessionary bus travel.
Citizens Advice Scotland believes that the link between social security benefits and passported benefits should be maintained. Not only do the qualifying benefits serve as a useful proxy for low income or disability, but by linking eligibility it can help people claim all the benefit support they are entitled to and encourage people to seek advice on maximising their income.
However, there are potential improvements that could be made. As detailed below, eligibility criteria for passported benefits for disabled people could be expanded to ensure people who do not receive PIP or DLA but whose condition would qualify them for support are also eligible for passported benefit.