Social Security Scotland late and overdue benefit payments: FOI release

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

Information requested

Request for Information 1: The number of recorded instances of late/overdue payments of Adult Disability Payment to a recipient in the month of May 2023.

Request for Information 2: The number of recorded instances of late/overdue payments of Scottish Child Payment in the month of May 2023.

Request for Information 3: If possible, AND ONLY IF POSSIBLE, please highlight the most late payment on record (in terms of days gone past without the benefit being paid).

Request for Information 4: Confirmation of whether or not Social Security Scotland records when a payment is late/overdue and the amount of time that payments remain late /overdue.

Clarification: I have made this request a number of times in much larger scope (financial years etc) and was told that it would cost too much to retrieve info. Can you therefore confirm the realistic scope of information I can request that Social Security Scotland has the capacity to deal with. For example, can Social Security Scotland provide the info I have asked for above for numerous months or half a year?

If not then why? Given late/overdue payments are very serious and could impact on people. Surely Social Security Scotland should have the digital infrastructure to not only record that data but also display it in an instant if necessary.


With reference to the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, Social Security Scotland define a late payment as one which is made beyond the date committed to on award letters when a determination was made.

Some delays in payment have arisen for a variety of reasons, including requirement for further approval due to value and bank account details being unverifiable.

Requests for Information 1:

For Adult Disability Payment during May 2023, from a total of 189,989 payments, 130 (less than 0.07%) were recorded as late.

Requests for Information 2:

For Scottish Child Payment during May 2023, from a total of 194,373 payments, 129 (less than 0.07%) were recorded as late.

Request for Information 3:

The latest payment on record across Adult Disability Payment and Scottish Child Payment is 104 days. The late payment was the result of a discrepancy with the bank account details provided by the client. Social Security Scotland take prompt steps to address such discrepancies. Contacting clients is often met with varying degrees of success. Successful contact with the client in question was required to resolve the discrepancy.

Requests for Information 4:

We hold reports which are generated by the Department for Work and Pensions who process payments on our behalf. Social Security Scotland receive reports of payments which have been flagged as late and the number of days delayed.

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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