Adult Disability Payment: Consultation on the Mobility Component: Analysis of responses – Easy read version
About the Consultation
We had a consultation between 31 January and 25 April 2023.
We asked questions about the mobility part of Adult Disability Payment, to see what people think.
We also had 6 events where people could meet us and tell us what they think.
We got 210 replies to our consultation.
Almost half the replies came from a group called MS Society Scotland. They made a survey tool for their group members to answer some of the questions. The questions in the survey tool were a bit different than the ones we asked, so we looked at them separately.
We asked a company outside the Scottish Government called The Lines Between to write a report about the replies we got to our consultation.
Things you need to know for this report:
The words we use tell you how many people told us something.
Many people means more than 20 people.
Several people means more than 10 but less than 20 people.
Some people means more than 5 but less than 10 people.
A few people means more than 1 but less than 5 people.
Adult Disability Payment and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) use different words for things.
PIP has face-to-face assessments, but Adult Disability Payment only sometimes has a consultation with a practitioner.
Most replies we got used the words from PIP, so it isn't clear whether people are talking about their experience with PIP or with ADP.
What People Said:
Many people said the moving around activity criteria should be flexible, so that people can show how moving around fits into their daily life.
Many people said the moving around activity criteria should look at things apart from how far someone can walk.
Many people thought the criteria should look at how much people need to plan before they move around and how they feel after.
Many people said the criteria should consider how moving around works in real life, like if people are able to use their mobility aids and carry their shopping at the same time.
Many people said the criteria should consider mental health conditions.
They also said different types of mobility aids should be considered.
Answers to Consultation Questions
We asked 19 questions as part of the consultation.
Section 1: The moving around activity (Questions 1 to 5)
The moving around activity is about how you move around outdoors on a flat surface.
Depending on how far someone walks they may get a number of points.
Half of the people who answered said the criteria are not easy to understand.
Many people said the meaning of the criteria need to be explained better.
Some people said using more real-life examples like the length of a bus would help people to understand how far the distances on the form are.
Several people said that the examples on the Adult Disability Payment application form helped them to understand the criteria.
Many people said they would change the distances used in the Moving Around activity.
Some of those people want to get rid of the '20-metre rule', and some want to get rid of all distance measures in awarding Adult Disability Payment .
Many people said 20 metres is too limited. People who can only move 50 metres have severe problems moving and should get the highest rate of Adult Disability Payment.
A few people said the Adult Disability Payment form is easier to understand than the PIP form.
Adult Disability Payment does not have assessments like PIP. People are only invited to a consultation if we need more information to decide their application. Several people said this makes applying less stressful.
Some people said the form is too long and because the section about moving around is at the end, people can be too tired to fill it in well.
Section 2: The planning and following journeys activity (Questions 6 to 10)
Planning and following journeys is about being able to plan how to get somewhere, and follow that plan.
It can be affected by mental, intellectual or physical disabilities and conditions.
This considers your ability to leave your home safely and be aware of the risks and dangers when getting somewhere.
Several people said that the words used in the planning and following journeys criteria are confusing.
They said we need to clearly say what the words in the criteria mean.
Many other people said the criteria are clear and easy to understand.
Several people said the criteria should focus better on mental health.
They talked about anxiety if a journey does not go to plan or anxiety about certain types of journeys.
Some people said that things like map apps on mobile phones should be considered an orientation aid.
Many people said that "overwhelming psychological distress" is too limiting, and that it needs to be clearly explained, or changed, or removed.
Most people said that only using practitioners who have experience with specific conditions, to carry out consultations, will help us make better decisions.
Section 3: Support for people with fluctuating conditions (Questions 11 to 15)
Health conditions and disabilities can fluctuate which means people have good days and bad days.
If someone meets a criteria on more than half of their days, they get that number of points.
If they meet two criteria over more than half their days they get whichever scores them the most points.
If they meet some criteria on different days that add up to more than half their days, they get the number of points they score on the most days. Or, if they meet different criteria for the same number of days, they get the criteria that scores the highest number of points.
Many people said the criteria for people with fluctuating conditions are unclear and too complicated.
Many people said the criteria should be simpler or explained better.
One response said that everyone applying should be able to get help from a welfare rights specialist for advice on applying.
Many people said the 50% rule is not a useful measurement.
They said people who have lots of fluctuations in their condition find it difficult to describe in percentages.
A few people suggested there should be more space for people to describe their conditions, especially if they have more than one condition.
Several people said that the Adult Disability Payment application form was better for fluctuating conditions than the PIP application form.
They said it included more information and that the extra information is helpful.
Section 4: Other considerations for the Independent Review (Questions 16 to 18)
Several people said that we should move from the medical model of disability to a social model.
The medical model says that being disabled is because of an individual health problem. It focuses on what a person can't do because of their condition.
The social model says that what makes a person disabled are the barriers that make them less able to do things, like buildings having stairs with no ramps or lifts.
People said that making this change will benefit disabled people and the people who care for or support them.
They said that making the changes would let more people access Adult Disability Payment and help them be more independent.
They also said that applying would be less stressful and build more trust in the system.
Several people said that these changes might be more expensive for the Scottish Government.
This could be because we might make more payments to people. It could also be because we would need more staff and training to make the system work.
They said it is important we plan carefully how much money any changes would cost.
Some people said that fear of the benefits system is bad for people's wellbeing, and puts people off applying for benefits that would help them.
They said it is important to make changes to help people trust the social security system more.
They said the system should work to be more supportive and help people to get the payments they are entitled to.
Several people said it is important for case managers to have training to understand people's health conditions or disabilities.
Several people said it is good that case managers should consider a person's whole life and not just their medical condition.
Some people said that these changes are good, but it will take more work to help build trust with people who have had bad experiences with PIP.
People who get PIP or Adult Disability Payment may also get UK Government benefits like Universal Credit. These are called passported benefits.
If we make big changes to Adult Disability Payment, the UK Government might say that it is too different from PIP for people to get passported benefits.
Several people said that any recommendations for Adult Disability Payment shouldn't make anyone worse off by losing passported benefits.
Several people said the Independent Review should be able to decide their recommendations for how to improve Adult Disability Payment without worrying about passporting.
What happens next?
Lots of people shared their experience of applying for PIP and Adult Disability Payment in this consultation.
People also told us about supporting other people to apply.
People made lots of suggestions about more improvements we could make to be more supportive and fair for people applying.
Later this year, the Independent Review will start thinking about how Adult Disability Payment might work in the future.
The Independent Review will look at the evidence about Adult Disability Payment.
The report for this consultation will be part of that evidence.
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