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Information on the number of adults in receipt of Adult Disability Payment: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

FOI Reference: FOI/202400405601
Date received: 20 March 2024
Date responded: 17 April 2024


Information requested

Request for information 1:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year and, if possible, by age group and local authority area) of the number of adults in receipt of Adult Disability Payment.

Request for information 2:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year and, if possible, by age group and local authority area) of the number of adults in receipt of Adult Disability Payment for daily living only.

Request for information 3:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year and, if possible, by age group and local authority area) of the number of adults in receipt of Adult Disability Payment for mobility only.

Request for information 4:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year and, if possible, by age group and local authority area) of the number of adults in receipt of Adult Disability Payment for both daily living and mobility.

Request for information 5:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year and, if possible, by age group and local authority area) of the number of adults in receipt of Adult Disability Payment whose payments were revoked due to fraud, misrepresentation or for otherwise turning out not to satisfy the criteria (if terminology like fraud or misrepresentation is not used).

Request for information 6:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year and, if possible, by age group and local authority area) of the number of unsuccessful applications Adult Disability Payment.

Request for information 7:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year and, if possible, by age group and local authority area) of the number of unsuccessful applications for Adult Disability Payment that were successfully appealed (leading to Adult Disability Payment being awarded).

Request for information 8:

Please provide any internal guidance or policies relating to evidence that should be provided to support self-diagnosed conditions that form the basis, either partly or wholly, for an application for Adult Disability Payment.

Request for information 9:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year and, if possible, by age group and local authority area) of the total amount of money paid to recipients of Adult Disability Payment.

Request for information 10:

Since its introduction, please provide a breakdown (for each year) of total cost of administering Adult Disability Payment (to include employee costs).

Response

Request for information 1,2,3,4,6,7 and 9:

The information you have requested is available within our scheduled publications which are published quarterly in the Publications section of the Social Security Scotland website . The most recent publication was March 2024 and includes information on Adult Disability Payment up to 31 January 2024 - link to the latest publication

Request for information 1

Table 1 (new applications only)

As of 31 January 2024, 192,575 people were in receipt of Adult Disability Payment. Of those, 83,190 (43%) were new applicants and 109,385 (57%) had their award transferred from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Request for information 2

Table 3

Request for information 3

Table 4

Request for information 4

Table 2

Request for information 6

Table 1

Request for information 7

Table 24

Request for information 9

Table 11

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

Request for information 5:

I have interpreted this request to relate to the number of adults in receipt of Adult Disability Payment whose payments were revoked due to fraud. Security Scotland does not decide when fraud has been committed; that is for the justice system. Therefore, we do not classify a behaviour as fraud until conviction (or the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service has decided on a non-court disposal as an alternative to prosecution).

An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to the information requested. Disclosing this information would substantially prejudice our ability to prevent and detect fraud.

The risk of fraud against Social Security Scotland has been identified through commissioned threat assessments combined with the experience of similar organisations. Addressing this risk requires a multi layered approach using prevention, detection and investigation principles, with prevention as the first line of defence. Part of the prevention approach is to restrict the information made available that would be indicative of capacity, capability, tactics and resources. After careful consideration and assessment we have concluded that release of this data would prejudice the ability of our Fraud and Error team to effectively carry out their function. The risk of compromise relates to both the ability to obtain and maintain evidence. This would constitute substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs in terms of the exemption.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, there is a greater public interest and expectation in protecting public funds by detecting, investigating and preventing fraud.

I have included a link below to our Annual Report, which contains information related to our Counter Fraud strategy, which you may find helpful.

Social Security Scotland - Annual Report and Account 2022-2023

Request for information 8:

To make a decision on an Adult Disability Application, we need to understand how someone’s condition or disability affects their life. We ask people to provide this information in the application form.

We also need 1 piece of supporting information from a professional. This should broadly confirm their disability, conditions or needs. This can be a diagnosis if the person has one, but they do not need a diagnosis to apply.

Examples of supporting information include social care plans, prescription lists and referral letters from professionals such as support workers, doctors and physiotherapists.

People can still apply without supporting information. We can collect it on their behalf if they ask us to, but it may take longer to process their application.

The guidance to support our approach is contained within our Decision Making Aid and is available in the Guidance section of our website I have attached link below.

https://www.socialsecurity.gov.scot/guidance-resources/guidance/decision-making-guide

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

Request for information 10:

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Social Security Scotland does not have the information you have requested. This is because Social Security Scotland do not record the cost of administering each devolved benefit separately. This is due to a number of reasons, including that our employees are often not assigned to administering one particular benefit.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Social Security Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

I have included a link below to our latest Annual Report and Account, which contains figures relating to the total cost of administering all devolved benefits which is available on Page 71.

Social Security Scotland - Annual Report and Account 2022-2023

About FOI

Social Security Scotland is committed to publishing its response to requests. The Scottish Government also publishes responses to requests. You can view the responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


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