Adult Disability Payment: Independent Review


Adult Disability Payment launched on 29 August 2022 and is one of fifteen payments that Social Security Scotland delivers. Adult Disability Payment has replaced Personal Independence Payment for disabled people of working age in Scotland. 

The Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice has appointed Edel Harris OBE to Chair an Independent Review of Adult Disability Payment. Work began on the independent review in February 2024 and the review will issue its final report in July 2025.

The independent review will consider people’s experiences of the first year of delivery of Adult Disability Payment, as well as the eligibility criteria. This builds upon the analysis of the consultation on the eligibility criteria for the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment, published in August 2023. 

Remit and terms of reference


The independent review will look at:

  • the activities and descriptors that determine entitlement to Adult Disability Payment, including how these apply to disabled people with fluctuating conditions
  • people’s experiences of applying for, receiving or challenging a decision about Adult Disability Payment or undergoing a review (including unsuccessful applicants)
  • consultations process and Adult Disability Payment-specific guidance for practitioners and decision-making guidance to ensure a rights-based model of social security is being applied
  • considering initial priorities capable of early action that do not require changes to the application, decision-making or service delivery, where those changes offer value, are deliverable and useful regardless of any longer-term changes

The independent review will not look at: 

  • the purposes of Adult Disability Payment or the adequacy of payments
  • wider aspects of disability assistance which have implications for other forms of disability assistance, such as supporting information, special rules for terminal illness, duration of awards and reviews
  • alternative forms of mobility support, such as grants, reductions in the cost of mobility equipment and vehicles and associated costs
  • alternative bodies to Social Security Scotland for delivering Adult Disability Payment

Taking part in the review

The independent review will take an inclusive and transparent approach to engaging with disabled people and stakeholders. There will be opportunities for people to contribute throughout the independent review.

The Chair of the independent review will be supported by an advisory group, who will offer guidance, expertise, and scrutiny to the Chair to ensure the effectiveness, fairness, and integrity of the review. We are reviewing the applications of people who applied to take part in the advisory group


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Review outcomes

An interim report identifying any initial priorities, which do not involve substantive changes to service design and are capable of early action, should be provided within nine months of the commencement of the review. 

A final review report will be provided to the Scottish Government by July 2025 and will be published by the Government upon receipt. The report will include such recommendations as the Chair considers appropriate within the scope identified above. 

Recommendations will consider and comment upon:  

  • the costs of any proposed changes associated with implementation and/or benefit expenditure
  • the practicability, including technical development requirements, of implementation and priorities for delivery
  • legislative changes that may be required
  • the impact of any proposed changes on access to other forms of social security assistance controlled by the UK Government


  • Edel Harris OBE, Chair




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