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).

7. Conclusions

Many individuals and stakeholders with detailed knowledge and lived experience took part in this consultation, providing their opinions and insight on various aspects of the ADP mobility component. Their views will assist the independent review and the Scottish Government in deciding and delivering on further improvements to ADP. This report summarises the consultation responses; for more detail, see individual responses where permission was given for publication.

Respondents consistently highlighted their desire to see an application and decision-making process which takes a holistic, person-centred approach to understanding an individual's circumstances and needs. Several overarching themes were seen as vital in achieving this aim, including: ensuring all impacts of mobility are considered, that the criteria reflect the reality of moving around, broadening the criteria and ensuring the process adequately supports those with fluctuating conditions.

While these broad themes were raised throughout the consultation, specific constructive suggestions were also shared. There were calls for greater clarity of the language used across all the ADP eligibility criteria. Many argued for more opportunities to provide further information and add nuance to explanations of their condition and its impacts.

Respondents frequently argued that the '20-metre rule', or any use of distance measures, should be reformed or eliminated from the moving around activity criteria, and replaced with a focus on the quality and wider impacts of movement.

Many highlighted concerns about the wording of the planning and following journeys criteria and suggested making it easier to understand. In particular, respondents found the term 'overwhelming psychological distress' to be limiting, subjective and unclear and suggested it should be defined, amended or removed.

The 50% rule was frequently criticised as an unfair and inappropriate way to measure the impact of fluctuating conditions, as it is often impossible for clients to average their symptoms. This resulted in calls to remove the 50% rule or use a 'worst day' measure for decision-making. Respondents broadly welcomed the move to more flexible consultations with a practitioner only when there is no other way to understand a person's needs, and approved of gathering information from professionals.

Several advocated moving from a medical model of disability to a social model, helping to facilitate a more rights-based approach and improving clients' wellbeing through increased trust in the system. Respondents called for an adequate budget to be allocated to achieve this. There were also calls to ensure no clients lose existing entitlements to passported benefits and that the independent review should not be constrained by passporting considerations when determining the criteria for devolved benefits, including ADP.

The changes proposed by respondents were seen as important in ensuring ADP reflects the experiences of those with fluctuating conditions, hidden conditions or disabilities and people with mental health conditions. It was felt that taking these steps should improve client wellbeing by encouraging a more supportive and understanding process, aligned with a fair and equitable system.



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