Adult Disability Payment launch dates announced

New Applications to open in March

The Scottish Government’s next benefit, Adult Disability Payment (ADP), will open for new applications in pilot areas from 21 March 2022.

This new payment, to be administered by Social Security Scotland, will replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is currently delivered by the UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Adults of working age with a disability or health condition, who are not already in receipt of PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and living in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles local authority areas, will be the first to be able to apply from this date.

Further council areas will be introduced in phases until Adult Disability Payment rolls out nationwide from August 2022.

Individuals with ongoing awards of PIP or DLA do not need to apply for Adult Disability Payment. Their awards will be transferred automatically to the new Scottish system from August 2022, with no break in entitlement or payment.

Legislation to introduce the new benefit was laid before the Scottish Parliament today.

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said:  

“Adult Disability Payment will be the twelfth Scottish benefit to be delivered by the Scottish Government, since we gained limited powers over social security and created Social Security Scotland in 2018. Adult Disability Payment will also be the most complex and largescale Scottish benefit yet, reaching around 339,000 people once all awards transferring from the DWP are taken into account.

“We know people have found applying for DWP disability benefits stressful in the past. That is why we have listened to their experiences as we have designed our new system, and we are committed to doing things differently. We are introducing an improved application process and, in contrast to the DWP system, we are removing the burden from individuals to provide supporting information, so that the onus will instead be on Social Security Scotland to collect the information we require. Our new, person-centred decision making process will ensure everyone is treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

“Importantly, we have abolished assessments in the form currently undertaken by the DWP. Instead, and only where required, we will hold person-centred consultations between the person and a Social Security Scotland health or social care practitioner, starting from a position of trust. Our consultations will not involve functional examinations.

“Another key difference in our new system will be around the definition of terminal illness. We will follow the judgement of clinicians instead of being tied to fixed periods of life expectancy, and anyone with a terminal illness will be fast tracked.

“From the outset, the eligibility criteria for ADP applicants will remain mostly the same as existing DWP disability benefits, as will payment values for awards, so that we do not create a two-tier system with varying rules whilst Scottish PIP and DLA recipients are transferred to Social Security Scotland.

“We are committed to undertaking an independent review of ADP within a year of its full introduction, to consider the eligibility criteria, gather feedback from people who’ve applied and collect data to inform any proposed changes.

“We have also worked with people with lived experience and relevant organisations to develop all aspects of the application process, and make it easy and inclusive for people to access support they are entitled to. We are offering a range of ways to make an application, including online, by post, over the phone or face-to-face. Social Security Scotland local delivery teams will also be available to provide assistance.

“People in Scotland with existing DWP awards do not need to be concerned about reapplying or going through an application process again. They will be transferred automatically to Social Security Scotland and we will write in advance, so people know what to expect. Our focus on safe and secure delivery will ensure that everyone continues to get the payments they receive, when they expect to.”


  • Phase One of the Adult Disability Payment pilot takes place in Perthshire and Kinross, City of Dundee and Western Isles on 21 March 2022.
  • Phase Two of the Adult Disability Payment pilot takes place in Perthshire and Kinross, City of Dundee, Western Isles, Angus, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire from 20 June 2022.
  • Phase Three of the Adult Disability Payment pilot takes place in Perthshire and Kinross, City of Dundee, Western Isles, Angus, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Fife, City of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire from 25 July 2022.
  • Adult Disability Payment will rollout nationwide from 29 August 2022.
  • Adult Disability Payment will be the 12th benefit to be introduced since September 2018, which includes 7 new benefits.
  • People who currently get disability benefits from Department for Work and Pensions will have their awards transferred to the new Scottish system in stages after the new benefits are introduced from summer 2022.
  • Over 300,000 people in Scotland are expected to be in receipt of Personal Independence Payment and approximately 40,000 people of working age receiving Disability Living Allowance when applications for Adult Disability Payment open nationwide. These awards will transfer to Social Security Scotland through a carefully managed process.
  • A new definition of terminal illness has been introduced, removing the time requirement that a person must reasonably be expected to die within six months and instead using the clinical judgement of doctors and registered nurses involved in the individual’s care.
  • People can find out more through


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