Independent Review of Adult Disability Payment: consultation

The Chair of the Independent Review of Adult Disability Payment is consulting on people's views about the first year of delivery. This will be used to help inform recommendations to ensure that Adult Disability Payment meets the needs of disabled people.

Section 7 – Decision-making

The Scottish Government has provided guidance for both people applying for and receiving Adult Disability Payment about how decisions are made.

Social Security Scotland also has guidance for case managers about how they should consider the rules for the daily living activities. This includes more fairly and consistently considering environmental, cultural, and social factors.

Supporting information

Social Security Scotland usually seeks to collect one piece of supporting information from a formal source, such as from a GP or a support worker. This information only needs to determine if it is more likely than not that the person’s disability or condition lines up with the needs detailed on their application. A piece of supporting information can be something like a social care assessment, medical report, or prescription list. Equal consideration should be placed on all sources of information, including information from a person’s family, carers and friends.


A consultation is an appointment with a Social Security Scotland practitioner where they will ask a person questions to help make a decision on their Adult Disability Payment application. Following the consultation, the practitioner will write a report which will be sent to the case manager who decides about whether the person will get Adult Disability Payment. Reasonable adjustments are made to accommodate people’s needs and preferences. Consultations may take place:

  • by phone
  • by video call
  • at a local public venue
  • in the person’s home.

The consultation is not a diagnosis or medical examination of a person’s condition. It will only cover the areas of the application that Social Security Scotland needs more information about.

A person is only invited to take part in a consultation when there is no other practical way to understand their needs. Practitioners fully discuss the impact of completing the activity, starting from a position of trust that what people tell them is accurate. They have also removed functional assessments, including physical examinations, as part of the application and decision-making process.

Social Security Scotland practitioners only make informal observations whilst a consultation is taking place. The person, and any person accompanying them, must be given the opportunity to respond to the observations.

How the equivalent to consultations work for PIP

For context, the PIP equivalent of a consultation is called an assessment[7].

With PIP assessments an assessor can make informal observations about a person’s ability to carry out daily living and mobility activities[8].

The assessor does not have to tell the person about their informal observations.

The following questions ask about the consultations and decision-making process for Adult Disability Payment.

Question 14

How effective do you think Social Security Scotland’s decision-making process is with regards to understanding a person’s daily living needs?

  • Very effective
  • Effective
  • Somewhat effective
  • Not very effective
  • Not effective at all

Please give reasons for your answer.

Question 15

Have you received a decision on an application for Adult Disability Payment?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t Know

If you said “yes”:

(a) Were you invited to take part in a consultation as part of applying for Adult Disability Payment?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t Know

(b) How did the consultation take place?

  • In person
  • By telephone
  • Video call
  • Other

(c) Did the consultation take place at a convenient date and time for you?

  • Yes
  • No

(d) What worked well about the consultation process?

(e) What worked less well about the consultation process?

(f) Did you understand the decision?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t Know

(g) Did you need support to understand the decision?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t Know

Please explain your answer.

(h) What could have been changed about telling you what the decision was?

(i) What do you think the impact of that change might be?



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