Adult Disability Payment rejection and withdrawal information: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Request for Information 1: All officially recorded justifications or reasons for Social Security Scotland to reject an application for Adult Disability Payment.

Request for Information 2: All officially recognised justifications or reasons for an application to be withdrawn.

Request for Information 3: The total number of Adult Disability Payment applications that have been rejected since the benefit was established until present date (25/05/2023)

Request for Information 4: Please also reflect the total number of rejections as a percentage of the overall number of applications that have been made during that period.

Request for Information 5: If possible, please provide a breakdown by the reason/justification for their rejection, even if the breakdown can be a percentage.

For example, ‘43% of applications were rejected due to x… 32% of applications were rejected due to Y’



We have interpreted your request to relate to Adult Disability Payment.

Requests for Information 1 and 5:

Social Security Scotland determine entitlement to Adult Disability Payment (ADP) on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. We apply the law on entitlement to ADP to individual cases. The law covering entitlement to ADP comes from the following pieces of legislation:

Where an application for Adult Disability Payment is denied, it is recorded on our system as either:

  • Client Ineligible


  • Client already in receipt of programme*

*Already in receipt of a UK benefit that would prevent a successful claim for the Social Security Scotland equivalent.

A client could be ineligible due to one or multiple eligibility criteria not being met. The underlying reasons for a client being ineligible or for an application being withdrawn are held within the individual records. Any request for the detail of underlying reasons for applications being denied would therefore most likely exceed the upper cost limit under section 12 of the Act.

Under section 12 of the Act public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600.

Request for Information 2:

Where a client has requested that their application be withdrawn, it can be recorded on our system as one of the below options:

  • Change of Circumstances
  • Filed in Error
  • Withdrawn by Applicant
  • Attained Employment

Request for Information 3 and 4:

We have interpreted “applications that have been made” as being applications where we have processed the application. Information relating to denied applications can be found within our official public statistics here: Social Security Scotland statistics: publications - (

The current publication covers up to the end of April 2023. Official statistics covering the full period of your request will not be published until 19 September 2023, however, below we have provided information which includes the period of 1 May 2023 to 28 May 2023. It should be noted that this data is drawn from management information, which has not been quality assured to the same level as that in our Official Statistics publication. As such, these figures should be interpreted with caution.

In the Period from 1 May 2023 to 28 May 2023, 3699 Applications had been denied.

Viewing information over a short period of time does not necessarily give a true representation - for example, making decisions on a higher volume of applications where evidence could not be sourced would show a higher percentage of denied applications.

The total number of denied applications as a percentage of applications processed for Adult Disability Payment during the period from 1 May 2023 to 28 May 2023 is 40%. Again, it should be noted that the data used for the period 1 May 2023 to 28 May 2023 is drawn from management information, which has not been quality assured to the same level as that in our Official Statistics publication. As such, this figure should be interpreted with caution.


About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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