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.

About the Independent Review

Adult Disability Payment launched nationally in July 2022 to replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Whilst the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) delivers PIP, Social Security Scotland delivers Adult Disability Payment.

The safe and secure transfer of people’s payments from DWP to Social Security Scotland is important for disabled people and the Scottish Government. To have this safe and secure transfer, the rules for PIP and Adult Disability Payment are currently mostly the same.

Throughout this consultation paper, we often reference how the UK Government delivers PIP. We recognise that not everyone will have direct experience of Adult Disability Payment yet. The purpose is to provide contrast between how the two benefits are delivered.

However, the Scottish Government has made changes to how people can apply for Adult Disability Payment. It has also made changes to how Social Security Scotland decides who gets Adult Disability Payment. The Scottish Government is committed to adhering to the policies of Dignity, Fairness and Respect, as outlined in the Social Security Charter.

In this consultation paper, we use the term disabled people throughout. We recognise that not everyone will see themselves as a disabled person. We also want to hear from people with a long-term physical or mental health condition, as well as from terminally ill people as part of this consultation.

Why is there a need for an independent review?

The Scottish Government said[1] that it would start an independent review of Adult Disability Payment in 2023-24. The Scottish Government has also said it recognises people’s interest in the rules for the mobility part (called a ‘component’) of Adult Disability Payment.

The aim of the Review is to ensure that Adult Disability Payment meets the needs of disabled people, both now and in the future.

Who will be involved in the independent review?

The Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Shirley-Anne Somerville has asked Edel Harris OBE to Chair the review and to report back in July 2025.

The Chair has set up an Advisory Group to help and provide guidance to her. The Advisory Group includes disabled people and people with experience of disability, and people who work for organisations that support disabled people.

What will the review be doing?

The Scottish Government has asked the Chair to look at the following things about Adult Disability Payment:

  • considering initial priorities capable of early action that do not require changes to the application, decision-making or service delivery, where those changes offer value, are deliverable and useful regardless of any longer-term changes
  • people’s experiences of applying for, receiving or challenging a decision about Adult Disability Payment or undergoing a review (including unsuccessful applicants)
  • the consultations process and Adult Disability Payment-specific guidance for practitioners and decision-making guidance to ensure a rights-based model of social security is being applied
  • the activities and descriptors that determine entitlement to Adult Disability Payment, including how these apply to disabled people with fluctuating conditions.

The independent review will look at the analysis of the Consultation on the Eligibility Criteria for the Mobility Component of Adult Disability Payment[2]. It will also look at the work with Social Security Experience Panel Members[3] on the eligibility criteria for the mobility part.

The Scottish Government has asked the Chair to think about how realistic her recommendations are and the potential costs of making changes to Adult Disability Payment.

It is estimated that Adult Disability Payment will support 612,000 people by 2028-29, providing financial support of almost £4.5 billion[4]. This is before the cost of making any potential changes, either in the short or long-term to how Adult Disability Payment works.

Other opportunities to contribute to the Independent Review

The Chair is committed to conducting the Independent Review in partnership and collaboration with disabled people and stakeholders. She is also carrying out a broad programme of engagement throughout the course of the review.

In addition to this consultation, a call for evidence is also seeking detailed evidence about Adult Disability Payment.

The Chair will carry out a wide programme of more in-depth engagement, including consultation events throughout Scotland and online. More information will be made available on the Independent Review’s website.



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