Building a New Scotland: Social security in an independent Scotland

Sets out the Scottish Government’s proposals for social security in an independent Scotland.

Annex B – Adult Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment is the Scottish replacement for the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment.[130] After a pilot phase, the new benefit was introduced nationally on 29 August 2022.

Accessing Adult Disability Payment has been made as easy as possible. Applications can be made in a variety of ways – online, by post, over the phone or face-to-face – and comprehensive guidance is provided.

How decisions are made for Adult Disability Payment is very different from Personal Independence Payment. The aim is to get decisions right first time by trusting what people say.

Social Security Scotland will usually only seek one piece of formal supporting information when deciding on an application, and we can collect that on people’s behalf if they choose this. Insights provided by family, friends, unpaid carers and anyone who may be part of an informal support network are all important and every piece of information is given equal consideration.

People with experience of Personal Independence Payment have told us that assessments carried out on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions can make them stressed and anxious.[131] There are no routine face-to-face assessments for Adult Disability Payment both to minimise this stress and because they are not necessary for everyone.

Where a decision cannot be made with the information available, people may be invited to a consultation, which can be held virtually or in person. This will be with a health or social care practitioner employed by Social Security Scotland and will be tailored for the person with no irrelevant questions asked. People will be informed of everything that has been noted during the consultation and they will have a chance to review and respond to this.

We will always start from a position of trust and will never use the private sector or third parties to assess people. Consultations for Adult Disability Payment do not involve functional examinations such as grip strength tests or the Mental Health Examination.

For many people in the DWP system, a review of their entitlement to a disability benefit can be extremely stressful.[132] We have therefore introduced indefinite awards for disabled people with needs which are highly unlikely to change and who receive the maximum level of award. Indefinite awards will not be reviewed, unless people tell us that there has been a change in their circumstances. Support will be available to those who want to challenge decisions and people challenging an Adult Disability Payment decision which removed or reduced an existing award will be able to access Short-Term Assistance. This provides people with the same amount of money they were getting before a decision was made to lower or stop their payment.


AHC - After Housing Costs

DWP - Department for Work and Pensions ESAEmployment and Support Allowance EUEuropean Union

FRS - Family Resources Survey

GB - Great Britain

HBAI - Households Below Average Income

HMRC - His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs

JSA - Jobseeker’s Allowance

MIG - Minimum Income Guarantee

NI - National Insurance

NICs - National Insurance Contributions

OECD - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

PIP - Personal Independence Payment

UBI - Universal Basic Income

UC - Universal Credit

UK - United Kingdom

UN - United Nations



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