Some claimants of Adult Disability Payment (ADP), the Scottish replacement for PIP for adults, will be freed from the review process which all PIP claimants have to endure, the Scottish government has announced.  This comes on top of improvements to assessments and appeals for Scottish claimants.

ADP indefinite awards

ADP will begin to be available for new claims in some areas from this month, before being rolled out for all new Scottish claims from 29 August 2022.

Under the new rules, claimants on the highest components of ADP whose needs are highly unlikely to change will be eligible for an “indefinite award”. In effect, this will mean they will not be subject to reviews and can rely on their new benefit into the long-term.

People with ongoing awards of PIP and DLA do not need to make an application for ADP. They will be contacted from this summer to let them know when their awards will be moved to ADP.

Scottish Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson said:

“The introduction of indefinite awards, as part of Adult Disability Payment, underlines our commitment to deliver on the principles of Scotland’s social security system to treat people with dignity, fairness and respect. In making this decision, we have engaged with a wide range of people with lived experience of the current system and will continue to listen as we design and build a social security system that works for disabled people.

 “We want to ensure that people on the highest levels of Adult Disability Payment awards receive long-term and adequate support, because those with lifelong conditions, or disabilities resulting in needs highly unlikely to change, should not be subject to unnecessary reviews when it is reasonably expected that their situation will not change.”

Differences between PIP and ADP

To begin with, the criteria for qualifying for ADP will remain the same as for PIP.  This means that the system for scoring points remains the same for both benefits and the Benefits and Work guide to PIP claims will continue to be of use to Scottish ADP claimants.

So, the main differences between ADP and PIP, apart from the introduction of an indefinite award, are:

Wherever possible, decisions will be made on the available information, instead of assessments being the norm.  Where an assessment is needed, it will be carried out in-house by Social Security Scotland, rather than using private contractors.  Assessments will not involve functional examinations such as grip strength or the current mental health examination.

You can remain on DLA until you are 18, instead of having to transfer at 16.

PIP requires that you normally submit a mandatory reconsideration within a month of the date of the decision letter.  Under ADP, this is extended to 6 weeks.  If Social Security Scotland have not responded within 8 weeks, you can appeal to a Tribunal.

If your ADP is stopped or reduced as a result of a planned review and you challenge the decision, you will be able to claim Short Term Assistance (STA) until a new decision is made.  STA will be paid at the same rate as your ADP was paid before it was reviewed.  You will not have to repay your STA even if your appeal is unsuccessful.

The ‘past presence’ test that has to be satisfied for ADP  is 26 weeks in the previous 52 rather than 104 in the previous 152, as it is under PIP.

VoiceAbility have been funded by the Scottish Government to provide help and support to help people apply  for disability benefits.

 The definition of `terminal illness’ for ADP differs from PIP.  The new terminal illness definition moves away from the 6 month time limited definition of expectation of death that DWP currently uses. It is an important distinction in the approach between the rest of UK and Scottish systems; the new Scottish definition does not require an explicit time frame, within which death is reasonably expected to occur.

ADP review

Although things are staying largely the same to begin with, the Scottish government will be carrying out a review of ADP which will look at whether changes should be made, including changes to the assessment criteria.

The first part of the review will begin this year, looking just at the mobility component.

The second part will begin in 2023 and will look at the daily living component.

So, at some stage, the qualifying rules for ADP are likely to become different to the rules for PIP.

Phased roll-out of ADP

According to the Scottish government, you will be able to apply for ADP on or after these dates:

  • 21 March, if you live in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross or the Western Isles;
  • 20 June, if you live in Angus, North Lanarkshire or South Lanarkshire;
  • 25 July, if you live in Fife, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire or South Ayrshire;
  • 29 August, if you live elsewhere in Scotland.

People with ongoing awards of PIP or DLA do not need to apply for Adult Disability Payment. Their awards will be transferred automatically to Social Security Scotland, starting in August. They will be written to in advance of their payment transferring.

Benefits and Work has yet to see a copy of the ADP claim form.  We'd be happy to hear from anyone who has access to a copy.


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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Stevie · 9 days ago
    I put in a new pip claim 5 weeks ago. My area changes to ADP on the 20th of June. I have had no reply from pip about a decision. Just wondering what happens now. Does pip still deal with my new claim or will my new claim be transferred to ADP to assess?
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    Ray muir · 2 months ago
    I was on indefinite award for dla but when I was changed to pip I scored nothing even though they came to my house without us asking so arose nurse could forg me saying didn't want any decision maker to see my prior evidence scored 0 points been fighting for 3 years tribunal was a kangaroo court dwp put me in fresh claims tribunal even tried to hoodwink judge finally sent my copies of evidence with return envelope and guess what haven't seen it since 
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    Jason Lee - 2022 · 2 months ago
    I really wish this was UK wide....
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    Paulne · 3 months ago
    I just got text today my assessment over phone is 7th April. I applied in August and as health kept taking a knock sent form January so haven't saw new form but may well have to do more research about ADP prior to assessment.  I bought the modules so time to look at assessment on and go over all my notes. I just lost job and have UC starting end of month but struggling to compete work disability form as so exhausted all the time but just made that and research my top priority. 
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    abp1873 · 3 months ago
    Problem with a lot of this is it could open of SS Scotland to legal action , with no clear timeline in sight and transfer of benefits already 7 + years behind , some of asked on the experience panels would claims at court for someone on a 10 year PIP award be able to take SS Scotland to court if a  new claimant gets an indefinite award ? 

    After all Social security Scotland mission statement is to ensure there is not a two tier system , but given the delays already are they in effect not creating a two tier system.? 

    I would trust nothing the Scottish Government touches it has proven to be the most inept administration since devolution began , so expect more delays and failures over the next few years on transfer of welfare.
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    MrFibro · 3 months ago
    Should we all move to Scotland, seems the place to live free of re-assessment happening.

    Lifelong pip what a joy, why does this only apply to Scotland, and not the entire UK ???

    Is this not geographical benefit discrimination ?

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