PENSIONERS in the Wee County will be eligible for a new disability benefit from next March, subject to parliamentary approval of regulations.

The Pension Age Disability Payment – the replacement for Attendance Allowance – will become available a month early in Clackmannanshire next March 24.

Clacks will be one of 13 local authority areas where the benefit will become available before it is rolled out across Scotland by April 22, 2025.

The benefit will first be piloted in Argyll & Bute, Highland, Aberdeen City, Orkney and Shetland areas from October this year.

The Pension Age Disability Payment will be for people of pension age who have a disability or long-term health condition that means they need help looking after themselves or supervision to stay safe.

It is not means-tested and is worth between £290 and £434 a month depending on the needs of the person who receives it.

Currently, more than 150,000 people in Scotland receive Attendance Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions.

They do not need to take any action as their awards will be automatically moved  from the DWP to Social Security Scotland.

This will happen in phases, with the first expected to be transferred in early 2025.

Social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “In the midst of the cost of living crisis it is more important than ever that older people get the support they’re entitled to.

“We developed Pension Age Disability Payment by listening to the people who would be applying for it and those who support them.

“We made changes including making it easier for an eligible person to nominate a third party representative, something people told us was important for many older people.

“The pilot phase will allow us to put our different approach into practice, learning and improving before the benefit is rolled out across Scotland.

“If you think you might be eligible for support right now, I encourage you to apply for Attendance Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions.

“Anyone getting that benefit will automatically have their award transferred to Pension Age Disability Payment next year so there is no reason to wait.”

The Scottish Government explained that the Pension Age Disability Payment was designed with the people who will be eligible for the benefit and those who support them.

Improvements include a streamlined process for people to nominate a third party representative who can support them to communicate with Social Security Scotland.