Adult Disability Payment: Independent Review minutes - April 2024

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 26 April 2024.

Attendees and apologies

  • Edel Harris OBE, Chair, Independent Review of Adult Disability Payment
  • Steven McAvoy, ENABLE Scotland
  • Craig Smith, SAMH
  • Ellie Wagstaff, Marie Curie
  • Lucy Mulvagh, The ALLIANCE
  • Brian Robertson, Independent member
  • Keith Park, Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland
  • Erica Young, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • John Wallace, Independent member
  • Keith Rae, Secretariat, Independent Review of Adult Disability Payment
  • Sam Cooper, Secretariat, Independent Review of Adult Disability Payment

Items and actions


Everyone introduced themselves and talked about their backgrounds and interest in the review.

There was a brief presentation on background of the review. The presentation included what the review will and will not look at.

Ways of working 

The group talked about how they would like to work. The group thought about key words and principles.

Action: The secretariat will circulate a draft ‘ways of working’ document along with the note of this meeting.

Call for evidence/consultation 

The Chair talked about a call for evidence and a consultation to get information for the independent review. The Chair plans to have both in-person events and online events for disabled people and stakeholders. The Chair noted that some people may have a strong preference for either. 

The Chair asked the group to think about things they would like the Chair to look at in the call for evidence. This included the themes of thinking about applying and applying for Adult Disability Payment.

The group thought about levels of awareness of Adult Disability Payment in different communities (such as island communities and the Armed Forces).

The group talked about how Social Security Scotland could improve awareness of Adult Disability Payment. The group suggested that third sector organisations often struggle with the amount of awareness raising Social Security Scotland asks for their help with.

The group talked about things that might put people off making an application for Adult Disability Payment, such as earlier traumatic experiences with Personal Independence Payment. Another barrier people may face is that whilst they may meet the criteria for Adult Disability Payment, they may not consider themselves disabled (and therefore may not apply).

Action: The Chair asked members to consider in particular the themes of ‘applying and getting a decision’ and when people tell Social Security Scotland about a change of circumstance. The Chair asked members to share their views on this by email, after the meeting.

What would be your three priorities for review outcomes?

The Chair asked the group to discuss what they thought were the most important things the review could achieve.

The group talked about the potential ways to improve the rules for Adult Disability Payment to meet disabled people’s needs. The group raised the potential of having an “exceptional circumstances” provision. The group also talked about how the rules for the mobility part could better link with other services.

The group talked about the issue of consultation fatigue. The group spoke about needing to build understanding of why another consultation is needed. They also said people need to understand what changes will come from a consultation and that their input will make a difference.

It was suggested that the review should look at how well the system meets the aims of the Social Security (Scotland) Act.

The impact on UK Government benefits was talked about. In particular, how UK Government reforms to Personal Independence Payment might work with Adult Disability Payment. 

Action: The Chair asked members to share their three priorities with the secretariat for further consideration by the Chair.

Concluding remarks

The Chair suggested that members should not assume we know the details of the work they do in the field of ADP. Members should feel free to share documents and information they are working on or any interesting articles they may come across.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the advisory group will take place on 19 June 2024 over Microsoft Teams, 13:30 - 15:15.

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