Adult Disability Payment

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for See advice for England, See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Wales

What is Adult Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment is a benefit for disabled working-age adults who live in Scotland. It's to help with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long-term health condition.

It's paid by Social Security Scotland.

Adult Disability Payment replaces Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in Scotland.

If you already get Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

You'll keep getting PIP until you move to Adult Disability Payment. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Social Security Scotland will tell you when that will happen.

You will not have to re-apply, and the rate and amount of payment you get will be the same in most cases.

Find out more about changes to PIP on mygov.scot.

If you already get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults

Your disability benefit will move to Social Security Scotland.

You benefit will move to Adult Disability Payment from August 2022 onwards if you were born on or after 8 April 1948 and:

  • you tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about a change in circumstances

  • you ask to move to Adult Disability Payment, or

  • your DLA is ending or coming up for renewal.

You'll keep getting your regular DLA payments until your benefit moves. There will be no gaps in payment.

If you were born before 8 April 1948, your benefit will move later.

Find out more about changes to DLA for adults in Scotland on mygov.scot.

If you're terminally ill

There's a quicker process for applying for Adult Disability Payment if you're terminally ill. Some of the rules are also different.

You should apply straight away. It does not matter how long you've been ill for.

Read more about applying for Adult Disability Payment if you're terminally ill.

Who can get Adult Disability Payment

To get Adult Disability Payment, you must have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability, or be terminally ill.

In most cases, you must also:

  • be between 16 years old and State Pension age, and

  • live in Scotland.

A long-term condition or disability is one that:

  • has lasted 13 weeks or more, and

  • is expected to last a further 39 weeks or more.

You do not need to have a formal diagnosis to get Adult Disability Payment.

You can also get Adult Disability Payment by moving over from PIP.

You cannot get Adult Disability Payment at the same time as:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Child Disability Payment

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

  • PIP.

Read about moving from Child Disability Payment to Adult Disability Payment on mygov.scot.

How much is Adult Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment is made up of 2 parts called components - a daily living component and a mobility component. Each component is paid at a different rate.

You can get 1 or both components, depending on your daily living and mobility needs. You only need to make 1 application.

It does not matter if you're working or not. Your income and savings are not taken into account.

Daily living component Weekly amount
Daily living component
Standard rate
Weekly amount
£72.65
Daily living component
Enhanced rate
Weekly amount
£108.55
Mobility component Weekly amount
Mobility component
Standard rate
Weekly amount
£28.70
Mobility component
Enhanced rate
Weekly amount
£75.75

The daily living component

You can get the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment if your ability to carry out day-to-day activities is limited by a physical or mental health condition or disability.

Day-to-day activities include:

  • preparing food

  • taking nutrition

  • managing therapy or monitoring a health condition

  • washing and bathing

  • managing toilet needs or incontinence

  • dressing and undressing

  • communicating verbally

  • reading and understanding symbols and words

  • engaging socially with other people face to face

  • making budgeting decisions.

The rate you get will depend on how much your day-to-day activities are affected by your health condition or disability.

To work this out, Social Security Scotland will look at your ability to carry out the day-to-day activities using a points system.

If you get between 8 and 11 points in total, you'll get the standard rate of the daily living component. It's £72.65 a week.

If you get 12 or more points in total, you'll get the enhanced rate. It's £108.55 a week.

The mobility component

You can get the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment if your ability to plan and follow journeys or move around is limited by a physical or mental health condition or disability.

The rate you get will depend on how much your mobility is affected by your health condition or disability.

To work this out, Social Security Scotland will look at your ability to carry out the mobility activities using a points system.

If you get between 8 and 11 points in total, you'll get the standard rate of the mobility component. It's £28.70 a week.

If you get 12 or more points in total, you'll get the enhanced rate. It's £75.75 a week.

Getting an accessible car or other vehicle

If you get the enhanced rate of the mobility component, you can get an accessible car or other vehicle through the Accessible Vehicle and Equipment (AVE) scheme.

If you already get a Motability vehicle because you get the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP, you'll be able to keep the vehicle when you move to Adult Disability Payment. Read more about changes to Motability vehicles in Scotland.

How old must you be

To apply for Adult Disability Payment, you must normally be at least 16 years old and under State Pension age.

Check your State Pension age on GOV.UK.

But if you've reached State Pension age, you can still apply for Adult Disability Payment if you:

  • were previously getting Adult Disability Payment, PIP or DLA for adults that stopped a year ago or less, and

  • have the same health condition or disability that you had when you got the benefit before - or a new condition caused by your earlier condition.

You can only get the same component of Adult Disability Payment as you got before. For example, if you only got the daily living component of PIP, you'll only get the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment.

Rules about living in Scotland

To get Adult Disability Payment, you must usually be all of the following:

There are different rules for some nationals of EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Get advice if you're not sure if you can get Adult Disability Payment because of where you live.

Habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

To be habitually resident, you must:

  • have lived in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for 'an appreciable period' - this often means at least 1 to 3 months, and

  • plan to stay for a reasonable length of time, though not necessarily forever.

You can only be habitually resident in 1 place at a time.

You do not have to meet the 'habitual residence' test if you:

  • have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection under the immigration rules

  • are the dependant of a person with refugee status or humanitarian protection.

Check how to prove that you're habitually resident.

Present in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

You must be present in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands when you apply for Adult Disability Payment. These places form the Common Travel Area.

You must also have lived in the Common Travel Area for at least 26 weeks (or periods that add up to 26 weeks) out of the 52 weeks before you apply. This is known as the 'past presence test'.

You do not have to meet the past presence test if you:

  • are terminally ill

  • have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection under the immigration rules

  • are the dependant of a person with refugee status or humanitarian protection

  • are a member of the UK armed forces or a civil servant who is serving abroad

  • live with - and are the child, stepchild, child in care, parent, spouse or civil partner of - a member of the UK armed forces or a civil servant serving abroad.

Going abroad temporarily

You can still count as present during a temporary absence from the Common Travel Area.

A temporary absence is one that is not expected to last more than 52 weeks.

If you go abroad temporarily, you'll still be eligible for Adult Disability Payment for:

  • the first 13 weeks

  • the first 26 weeks if you're going abroad for medical treatment.

The medical treatment must be for a health condition you had before you left the Common Travel Area.

If you're a national of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

You can apply for Adult Disability Payment if you:

  • are from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, or are the family member of someone who is, and

  • have settled status or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The countries in the EU are listed on GOV.UK.

If you have settled or pre-settled status, you might be in a 'protected' group. This means that the residence and presence rules for Adult Disability Payment are different. You:

  • must be habitually resident in the UK

  • do not have to meet the past presence test.

If you're not in a protected group, the normal residence and presence rules apply.

If you do not have pre-settled or settled status, you're usually subject to immigration control and will not be able to apply for Adult Disability Payment.

The rules about residence and presence for nationals of EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are complicated. Get advice if you're not sure if you can get Adult Disability Payment because of where you're from.

If you live in an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

You might be able to get the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment.

The countries in the EU are listed on GOV.UK.

The UK must be the country responsible for paying benefits to you, and you must have a 'genuine and sufficient' link to Scotland - for example, you have:

  • spent a significant part of your life in Scotland

  • a bank account in Scotland

  • frequent contact with family members living in Scotland

  • worked or previously paid social security or tax contributions in Scotland.

This means that if you live in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland but would otherwise be entitled to the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment, you can get it as long as you meet all the other conditions.

The rules about residence and presence for nationals of EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are complicated. Get advice if you're not sure if you can get Adult Disability Payment because of where you live.

If you've left another country because of conflict

Some people don't need to meet the habitual residence test or the past presence test. 

You don’t need to meet these tests if you: 

  • were living in Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights or Lebanon before 7 October 2023 and left because of the violence from that date onwards 

  • were living in Sudan before 15 April 2023 and left because of the violence from that date onwards 

  • were living in Ukraine before 1 January 2022 and left because of the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022.

In these cases, you must also meet one of these conditions: 

  • you have leave to enter or remain in the UK 

  • you have a right of abode in the UK 

  • you’re a British or Irish citizen. 

If you're from Afghanistan, you don't need to meet the habitual residence test or the past presence test if you've been granted leave: 

  • under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy or the ex gratia scheme for locally employed staff in Afghanistan

  • as the dependant of someone who has been granted this leave

  • under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

How to apply

You can apply:

  • online - by completing an application form on mygov.scot

  • by phone - by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

  • by post - you can phone to ask for a paper form with a pre-paid envelope

  • face to face - an adviser from Social Security Scotland's local delivery service can help you apply. Phone 0800 182 2222 to make an appointment.

If you're a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.

Completing the application form

If you apply online, you'll need to create an account on mygov.scot with a user name and password. This is so you can save your application and come back to it later.

There are 2 parts to the Adult Disability Payment application form. You start the application by completing part 1. You then have 8 weeks to complete part 2.

You should try to complete part 1 as soon as you can, because Adult Disability Payment can be paid from that date.

If you're going to have difficulty completing the application within the 8-week deadline, you should tell Social Security Scotland. If you have a good reason for not meeting the deadline, you might be able to get more time.

You can read the questions that you'll be asked when applying for Adult Disability Payment on mygov.scot.

Supporting information

It will help you to complete part 2 of the form if you have supporting information. This is information that describes how your condition affects you and what support you need. Social Security Scotland uses supporting information to help them make a decision.

You can provide any information you think will be helpful, but supporting information is usually copies of documents that you might have already, for example:

  • social care assessments

  • medical reports, letters or certificates

  • prescription lists that show the medication you take

  • test results.

Read more about supporting information on mygov.scot.

How to apply if you're terminally ill

You should apply for Adult Disability Payment straight away. It does not matter how long you've been ill for.

You can get the enhanced rate of both the daily living component and the mobility component.

To apply, you need to complete a short application form. Once you apply, your application will be fast-tracked and dealt with by specially trained staff.

Get advice and help to apply from an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

Get help to apply

You can get help to apply from:

  • Social Security Scotland's local delivery service. Phone 0800 182 2222 to make an appointment

  • a Citizens Advice Bureau.

Or you can get help to apply for Adult Disability Payment on mygov.scot. This includes if you want to apply in a language that's not English.

You can also fill in a form to authorise someone to speak to Social Security Scotland on your behalf. This might be helpful if you feel unable to find the information you need or understand things about your application. You can download a third-party authorisation form on mygov.scot.

Help from the Independent Advocacy Service

You can get help from the Independent Advocacy Service. This service is provided by VoiceAbility.

You can get an advocate by:

VoiceAbility can help you express your views, get information you need and help you make decisions.

How decisions are made

Social Security Scotland will normally make a decision about your application using:

  • what you've said on your application form

  • any supporting information you've provided or they've obtained on your behalf.

If it's not possible to decide on your application based on that information, Social Security Scotland might ask you to take part in a consultation.

A consultation is a conversation with a Social Security Scotland health or social care practitioner. It can take place over the phone or in person.

Read more about Adult Disability Payment consultations on mygov.scot.

Getting a decision

Once you've applied, you'll get updates on the progress of your application.

A decision will be sent to you by post. A decision is called a determination.

If you're terminally ill, Social Security Scotland will aim to make a decision as quickly as possible, in around 7 working days.

If you're not terminally ill, you should get a decision within 4 months. In a small number of complex cases, it can take up to 6 months.

If your application is successful, the money will be paid into your bank, building society or credit union account.

If Social Security Scotland decide that you're not entitled to Adult Disability Payment, they'll send you a letter explaining why.

If you do not agree with the decision

You can ask Social Security Scotland to look again at the decision about your Adult Disability Payment application. This is called asking for a re-determination.

Find out more about challenging a Social Security Scotland decision.

When is Adult Disability Payment paid

Adult Disability Payment will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears into your bank, building society or credit union account.

If you're terminally ill, payments will be made every week in advance.

You can choose what to spend the money on. Social Security Scotland will not ask for receipts.

Once you've been awarded Adult Disability Payment, you'll continue to get it as long as you still meet the conditions for it.

Reviews

You might be given an indefinite award if:

  • your needs are very unlikely to change

  • you're awarded the enhanced rate of both the daily living component and the mobility component.

This means your award will not be reviewed in the future unless you tell Social Security Scotland that something has changed.

Otherwise, your award letter from Social Security Scotland will give a review date. This is to make sure that you continue to get the right amount of Adult Disability Payment for your needs.

A review is a chance to discuss any changes that have happened since you applied, or since your last review. Social Security Scotland will ask you about any changes to your:

  • daily living

  • conditions

  • mobility needs.

When the review is complete, Social Security Scotland will make a new decision called a determination. They'll write to let you know the outcome of the review.

Read more about Adult Disability Payment reviews on mygov.scot.

How Adult Disability Payment affects tax and other benefits

Adult Disability Payment is not means tested, so it does not matter how much you earn or how much money you have in savings.

You do not pay tax on Adult Disability Payment.

Adult Disability Payment does not reduce your work-related benefits or tax credits.

You might be able to get other benefits and help because you get Adult Disability Payment.

If your circumstances change

You must tell Social Security Scotland if your circumstances change - for example, if:

  • your condition gets better or worse

  • the level of help and support you need changes

  • you move away from Scotland.

Find out more about how a change of circumstances can affect Adult Disability Payment.

When you reach State Pension age

If you're already getting Adult Disability Payment when you reach State Pension age, you'll continue to get it.

If you reach State Pension age and you do not already get Adult Disability Payment, PIP or the care component of DLA, you can apply for Attendance Allowance.

Read more about Attendance Allowance.

A new benefit called Pension Age Disability Payment is replacing Attendance Allowance for people over State Pension age in Scotland. The Scottish government has not yet announced when this will happen.

Get more help

You can get more advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

You can get advice from the Money Talk Team at your local Citizens Advice Bureau. You can call 0800 028 1456 to be directed to your local bureau. You can find more information on the Money Talk Team website.

You can also contact Social Security Scotland.

Read more about Adult Disability Payment on mygov.scot.