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Adult Disability Payment

Your rights to financial support if you are 16 to 65 years old and are disabled.

We know that many deaf people and families of deaf young people don't consider deafness to be a disability. However, even if you don't consider yourself or your deaf child to be disabled, you may still be eligible for disability benefits such as Adult Disability Payment.

Social Security Scotland has published a British Sign Language (BSL) translation of their Adult Disability Payment factsheet.

What you need to know

What is Adult Disability Payment?

Adult Disability Payment is very similar to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It's a disability benefit for people of working age, 16 to 65, who are deaf or disabled. Adult Disability Payment will help towards some of the extra costs of living with a disability or long-term (three months or over) health condition. It is not means-tested or taxable, which means it doesn’t matter how much you earn or having in savings.

There are two parts to Adult Disability Payment – the daily living component and the mobility component. They are paid at the same rates as PIP.

You can claim the daily living component if you need more help with certain activities, things like preparing food and taking nutrition (eating and drinking), managing therapy or monitoring a health condition, washing and bathing, communicating verbally, reading and understanding signs, symbols and words and engaging socially with other people face to face.

You can claim the mobility component if you need help with planning and following a journey or moving around.

To claim Adult Disability Payment you or your deaf child must live in Scotland or another qualifying country. Citizen's Advice Scotland have more information about the residence and immigration rules that apply (under the heading Rules about living in Scotland).

When can I claim Adult Disability Payment?

Adult Disability Payment is available for new claims now if you live in one of the following local authority areas: Dundee City, Perth and Kinross or the Western Isles. Outside of these areas you can still claim PIP.

Adult Disability Payment will be rolled out in the following local authority areas throughout 2022:

  • June 20: if you live in Angus, North Lanarkshire or South Lanarkshire
  • July 25: if you live in Fife, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire or South Ayrshire.

From 29 August 2022 Adult Disability Payment will be available across the rest of Scotland.

What if I already get PIP?

If you already get PIP, you cannot currently claim Adult Disability Payment. At some point during 2022 your claim will be automatically transferred to the new benefit. Payments will not be affected, and you should receive the same rates you previously received with PIP.

If you receive renewal forms for PIP before you are transferred, you should complete them and return them to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

How do I apply for Adult Disability Payment?

You can make a new claim by going to the apply page on the Scottish Government website and applying on myaccount, which lets you save your progress to come back to when it suits you. Or you can phone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 to request a paper form and a prepaid return envelope or book an appointment for someone from Social Security Scotland to help you fill in the form face to face. If you're a British Sign Language user, use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.

If English isn’t your first language, you can contact Social Security Scotland to apply over the phone with an interpreter or a paper application form. Interpreters and translated forms are available in over 100 different languages.

Additional help

If you need help accessing or filling in the application form you can contact the free Social Security Scotland Local Delivery service. A specially trained client support adviser can answer any questions you have in a meeting at your home, in your local community, over the phone or a video call.

Alternatively, if you have questions about how to fill in the form you can contact our free Helpline by phone, text (SMS), SignVideo (video call with a BSL interpreter), contact form or live chat. If English isn't your first language, we can call you back with an interpreter in your prefered language for free.

Filling in the application form

The application is in two parts and should be completed within six weeks of each other. If you don’t think you’ll be able do this, contact Social Security Scotland.

If you are transferring from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment, you should be aware that the eligibility criteria for Adult Disability Payment is very different. Some people who were eligible to Child Disability Payment may not qualify for Adult Disability Payment.

Social Security Scotland will decide whether you should get Adult Disability Payment or not by looking at a range of activities. For each activity there is a list of difficulties you might have, called descriptors. The application form asks a series of questions about each activity.

If deafness is your only condition, then the questions on the form that are most relevant to you will be:

Washing and Bathing

For example, if you have to remove your hearing technology when showering, and this means you would not be able to hear a smoke alarm or someone shouting to warn you of a fire or other danger. If this apples to you make sure you put this down on the form.  

Communicating verbally

Make clear what your difficulties are with understanding speech and being understood yourself. Include if:

  • You use hearing technology, rely on lip reading or are a BSL user.
  • You sometimes need people to repeat words or phrases write this down.
  • You find it more difficult to hear when there is background noise or lots of people talking at the same time.

Engaging socially with other people face to face

This is about your ability to interact with others and how you feel about interacting with other people. Living a normal daily life includes being able to engage in social activity. If your deafness means you find social situations stressful you should explain this.

Planning and following journeys

Include in your form whether:

  • You have difficulty when you’re outside, or you avoid going to unfamiliar places.
  • You don’t feel safe because you can’t hear a sound of something or someone approaching you from behind, like a person, car, or bike.
  • Your hearing loss makes you anxious about making journeys so you avoid them.

Include supporting information in your application.

What supporting information should I include?

Including supporting information in your application is very important, as it helps you show Social Security Scotland how your deafness affects you and the additional support you may need. If you have support needs in addition to your deafness, include your daily living and mobility needs related to other conditions or disabilities in the same application form.

To provide Social Security Scotland with an accurate picture of your lived experience, you should include:

  • medical reports or letters of identification, such as hearing test results, audiograms, ABRs, discharge letters from hospitals, cochlear implant mapping reports, etc.
  • current symptoms, their severity, and the effect they have 
  • a daily diary of the additional support you need with daily living and mobility because of your deafness and/or additional needs
  • test results or certificates, care or treatment plans, and therapies or adaptations
  • social care assessments or social work assessments
  • educational support plans or reports or letters from your place of education
  • the supporting information form filled out by someone who knows or cares for you.

Supporting information needs to be submitted within 28 days of your application and can be uploaded online and sent in the post (or a mixture of the two). If you’re sending important documents via post, you can send photocopies.

If you’re struggling to find or collect any of these pieces of supporting information, Social Security Scotland can ask relevant professionals or organisations for information to support your application on your behalf.

Assessment

Social Security Scotland may contact you after you have submitted your application to get more information about some of your answers. They may also ask for additional supporting information, to help them make their decision.

Social security Scotland says it will only invite you to an assessment if it is the only way to make a decision on your claim. If you’re invited to an assessment, you’re allowed to take someone with you. You can also ask for it to be done in a face-to-face meeting, over the telephone or via a video call. Whatever suits you.

Adult Disability Payment decision

Determination (decision)

When applying for benefits in Scotland, the decision to award you Adult Disability Payment or not is called a determination.

You should receive a decision from Social Security Scotland six to eight weeks after you have submitted your form and they have all the information they need.

If your application has been successful and you are happy with the amount you have been awarded, your Adult Disability Payments should start immediately.

If you are unhappy with your decision, you can ask for a re-determination.

Challenging a decision

What is a re-determination?

Re-determination is the process Social Security Scotland uses to review a benefits decision. A different team will look at the decision to refuse an application or the amount awarded and will make a new determination. Fill in this form on their website.

Read the letter explaining the decision carefully. If you ask for a re-determination then you should point out anything in this letter that is wrong or inaccurate. The letter should tell you which activities you have scored points for and those you didn’t. 

You have 42 days to submit your re-determination form. If you miss the 42-day time limit you can still ask for a re-determination. You’ll have to explain why your request is late and your request might not be accepted.  

Social Security Scotland have 56 days to complete the re-determination.

Appealing an Adult Disability Payment decision

If you’re unhappy with your re-determination decision you have 31 days from the decision to appeal. If you miss this, you can still appeal but you must explain why your request is late and your appeal may not be accepted. 

If Social Security Scotland have taken longer than 56 days to complete a re-determination you can also ask for an appeal.

Your appeal is decided by the First Tier Tribunal, which is independent of Social Security Scotland. You can choose whether to attend the Tribunal in person, have a remote hearing (telephone or possibly video) or have the appeal decided on the papers. If you have a hearing, you will be asked questions about your disability or long-term health condition.

What is a review?

Social Security Scotland may choose to review your current Adult Disability Payment award, to make sure you are being paid the right amount. They will ask you to provide more information. A review isn’t the same as a re-determination.

They will ask you to provide more information about the impact of your disability and may request updated supporting information. They may decide to stop your Adult Disability Payments or change the amount you have been awarded. You can apply for a re-determination of a review decision.

For more information about Adult Disability Payment, see the Scottish Government website.