Adult Disability Payment - mobility component: consultation analysis

An independent analysis of the responses to the consultation on the eligibility criteria for the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment (ADP).

1. Introduction

Adult Disability Payment (ADP) is a social security payment which launched on 29 August 2022. Delivered by Social Security Scotland and replacing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in Scotland, it is provided to disabled people between the ages of 16 and state pension age and aims to mitigate the additional costs of living with a disability or health condition. The ADP consists of two parts, called components: a daily living component and a mobility component. A person may qualify for one or both components.

The Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland are committed to ensuring that people receive the support that they are entitled to by reducing stigma and seeking to positively encourage take-up of all social security payments. Several improvements have been made to ADP compared to PIP, including to the application, information gathering, consultation and decision-making processes, to make the benefit easier to access.

Over the next few years, people in Scotland who currently receive PIP will see their payments transferred from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to Social Security Scotland. Their entitlement to PIP will end, and they will become entitled to ADP. In light of significant stakeholder feedback on the risks associated with making changes to the eligibility criteria during the transitional period, the eligibility criteria for both PIP and ADP are broadly identical. However, the Scottish Government committed to an independent review of ADP one year after its launch. They also committed to considering possible alternative approaches to the mobility component eligibility criteria, including the '20-metre rule', which is a priority for some disabled people and stakeholders.

A public consultation ran between 31 January and 25 April 2023. The consultation aimed to gather a broad range of views on alternative approaches to the mobility component and identify any gaps, issues or unintended consequences of changes suggested by respondents. The consultation contained 13 closed and 40 open questions covering:

  • The moving around activity
  • The planning and following journeys activity
  • Support for people with fluctuating conditions
  • Other considerations for the Independent Review

The Scottish Government organised six consultation engagement events with stakeholders to provide a more accessible opportunity for disabled people to contribute to the consultation. These were independently facilitated by The Lines Between.

This analysis of responses to the consultation will be presented to the independent review for consideration later in 2023. Full responses to the consultation, where permission for publication was granted, can be found on the Scottish Government's website.

Respondent profile

In total, 210 consultation responses were received. Of these, 108 were submitted via the Citizen Space online consultation platform, or in an alternative format, for example, an email or PDF document, which was reviewed separately by analysts. The other 102 responses were received via a survey tool created, launched and promoted by MS Society Scotland. People with lived experience of Multiple Sclerosis were asked eight questions, and their responses were automatically entered into Citizen Space. Some of these questions were different to the consultation questions and further information on this is provided below and in Appendix B.

A total of 173 individuals and 37 organisations provided responses to the consultation. To aid analysis, organisations were grouped based on the nature of their work. The table below shows the number of each category of respondent.

Table 1: Respondent classification







- Third sector



- Specific health/disability focused organisation



- Campaigning/umbrella bodies



- Disabled people's organisation



- Information and advice



- Public and representative bodies



- Local authority



- Representative body



- Statutory body



- Parliamentary body






- Responding through Citizen Space



- Responding through MS Society tool



The analysis included notes collated by The Lines Between from the six consultation events facilitated on behalf of the Scottish Government. In total 34 people attended these events – 22 individuals and 12 representatives from stakeholder organisations. Due to participant preference, five events took place virtually, and one occurred in-person in Glasgow. The events were structured around the consultation themes and the open forum allowed participants to expand on areas of their interest.

Following standard data checks, two duplicate responses were identified. One respondent completed both the Citizen Space survey and the MS Society Scotland survey tool. Their Citizen Space response was included in the analysis as it included responses to more questions. Two responses from another individual were combined into one response.

Analysis approach

The Lines Between was commissioned to independently facilitate the six engagement events and provide a robust, independent analysis of the responses to the public consultation. The main purpose of analysis is not to quantify how many people held particular views, but to understand the full range of views expressed. This report provides a thematic analysis of responses using the approach outlined below.

Quantitative analysis

There were 13 closed consultation questions. Those using the MS Society tool are excluded from the quantitative analysis as they were not asked the closed questions directly; the tool automatically populated Q2a and Q12a as 'Yes'.

As not all respondents answered each closed question, the quantitative analysis is based on those who answered each question. We show the number and percentage response among those who answered the question, broken down by individual and organisation responses. Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding.

A full breakdown of the number and percentage response to each question, including a breakdown by organisation type, can be found in Appendix A.

Qualitative analysis

Qualitative analysis outlines the key themes identified in responses to each question. The analyst team coded responses against a framework which was developed based on a review of the consultation questions and a sample of responses. Through an iterative coding process, new codes were created if additional themes emerged.

Notes from the consultation events were reviewed to identify any differences in opinion compared to the main sample and to identify any new themes. The themes evident in the events typically aligned with those evident in the main sample, but any additional or unique perspectives are noted in this report.

In four instances where alternative format responses contained information that did not align to specific questions, analysts exercised judgement about the most relevant place to include this material for analysis purposes.

Where appropriate, quotes are included to illustrate key points and provide useful examples, insights and contextual information.

Reflecting the large number of people who took part, it is not possible to detail every response in this report; a few organisations shared lengthy submissions which reflect their specific subject matter expertise. These responses are referenced where possible.

When reviewing the analysis in this report, we ask the reader to consider:

  • Public consultation of this kind means anyone can express their views; individuals and organisations interested in the topic are more likely to respond than those without a direct or known interest. This self-selection means the views of respondents do not necessarily represent the views of the entire population.
  • It is possible that some respondents have not fully read or engaged with the consultation paper, leading to answers which do not directly address the questions. These answers have been noted in the report.
  • Similarly, many respondents repeatedly raised the same issues or suggestions at multiple questions, regardless of the specific focus of the question. These views are all included in this report, but analysts exercised judgement about the most relevant place to include each theme to avoid repetition.
  • Social Security Scotland and the DWP use different terminology for their respective ADP and PIP processes. For example, PIP has face-to-face assessments with a healthcare professional, whereas ADP may involve a consultation with a practitioner. However, as respondents typically used DWP terminology, it is often unclear if they are referring to past experiences with PIP or to ADP decision-making. This report uses Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland terminology; however, the language in respondent quotes is unchanged.

The MS Society Scotland's Survey Tool

The six open questions asked in the MS Society Scotland tool were different from those in the consultation paper, but were relatively closely aligned to consultation questions 2a, 3, 5, 5a, 12a, and 15. Appendix B compares the two sets of questions.

Responses to open questions received via the tool have been included in this analysis. For consistency and to allow comparison, answers were coded using the codeframes created for each of the above questions. However, the views expressed by those using the MS Society tool are presented separately for each question. This allows the reader to have a clear understanding of the views of those using the tool compared to those responding directly via Citizen Space.

While no closed questions were included, the tool automatically answered questions 2 and 12 with Yes. These responses have not been included in the quantitative analysis / tables.

Weight of opinion

Throughout this report, the themes identified in responses are listed from most to least commonly mentioned. All themes, including those mentioned by a small number of respondents, have been included either in the report or in Appendices C to F. Additional quotations to illustrate some of the key themes discussed in the main body of the report are also included in the Appendices.

Qualitative analysis of open-ended questions does not permit the quantification of results; an insightful view expressed by a very small number of participants is not given less weight than more general comments shared by a majority. However, to assist the reader in interpreting the findings, a framework is used to convey the most to least commonly identified themes in responses to each question:

  • The most common / second most common theme; the most frequently identified.
  • Many respondents; more than 20, another prevalent theme.
  • Several respondents; 10-19, a recurring theme.
  • Some respondents; 5-9, another theme.
  • A few / a small number of respondents; <5, a less commonly mentioned theme.
  • Two/one respondents; a singular comment or a view identified in two responses.



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