Adult Disability Payment (ADP)

What is Adult Disability Payment?

Adult Disability Payment (ADP) is administered by Social Security Scotland and was introduced in Scotland to replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP). ADP is the same as PIP in that it is a benefit for disabled adults from the age of 16 to state pension age. It is tax-free, non-means tested, and is not based on national insurance contributions. Any earnings or other income do not affect the eligibility for this benefit.

There are two components to ADP, which are

  • Daily living component
  • Mobility component

Each component can be awarded at either a ‘standard rate’, or an ‘enhanced rate’. ADP is based on how your MS affects you as an individual and can act as a ‘passport’ for other support.

If you receive the daily living component, a person who helps to look after you may be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance.

If you receive the mobility component, you are automatically entitled to a Blue Badge

If you receive the enhanced rate of mobility, you can also apply to join the Accessible Vehicles and Equipment Scheme.


There are specific qualifying rules for ADP and the award is based on a points system. To be eligible for ADP, you must

You can make a new ADP claim if you are under the state pension age, otherwise, you will need to apply for Attendance Allowance (AA).

How to apply

You can apply for ADP either online or via a combination of telephone/paper. The application form is made up for two parts. Part one is your initial application where you confirm your basic and personal details. Part two is focused on your condition and how it impacts on your ability to perform everyday tasks, interpret information, communicate with others and much more. Once Part one has been submitted you have 56 days within which to complete and submit Part two.

Social Security Scotland offer advice and signposting if you need support with applying for ADP.

Obtaining evidence for your ADP claim

It is not essential, however strongly advisable, to gather as much evidence as possible relating to any support need/disability that you may have.

As part of your application, you can provide supporting medical evidence of your condition. To do this, it is suggested that you will need to collate any existing reports or letters from professionals or contact them to ask for up to date evidence. The professionals that you may contact could be

  • Neurologist
  • MS nurse
  • Physiotherapist
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • GP
  • Social worker
  • Occupational therapist

Gaining evidence of this kind is important as qualifying for ADP is based upon the impact the condition has on you and not a diagnosis of the condition itself. The website provides some useful information on gathering supporting information.

Important things to know before completing the form

There are certain ‘rules’ that apply to conditions where a need fluctuates. A descriptor will apply to you if it affects you for over 50 per cent of the time.

When answering a question, you will also need to apply the Social Security Scotland ‘reliably’ test to yourself. For a descriptor to apply to you, you must be able to carry out the activity it describes ‘reliably’, which means

  • safely – in a manner unlikely to cause harm to themselves or to another person, either during or after completion of the activity
  • to an acceptable standard – to a reasonable standard for the activity, taking account of the impact on the individual of carrying out the activity to that standard
  • repeatedly – as often as the activity being considered is reasonably required to be completed
  • within a reasonable time period – no more than twice as long as the maximum period that an individual without a physical or mental health condition would usually take to complete that activity

How your application is assessed

The assessment for ADP looks at how difficult you find the activities of daily living, such as washing, dressing, and making a meal along with the process of getting around, such as walking to a bus stop, to the shops, driving a car and understanding instructions to get somewhere when you are not at home.

You will be assessed on your ability to perform a list of activities concerning daily living and mobility. Points are awarded based on the level of difficulty you have doing each activity. A sample assessment form, comprising of Parts one and two, can be found here.

Once you have submitted Part two of your form, you may be asked totake part in a consultation, which will be with a health or social care practitioner, if further information is required before a decision can be made. The consultation may take place in person, via a video call or via the telephone.

More Information

You can download and read a very detailed and robust guide to claiming PIP from Disability Rights UK. This guide also applies generally to ADP and makes a good suggestion for keeping a needs-based diary to help you in the claim process. It even has an example diary of someone living with MS.

The Citizens Advice Scotland website also offers more information about ADP including where to find further support and guidance.

You can also find the latest contact details for Social Security Scotland by clicking here.