Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
FOI Reference: FOI/202300372952
Date received: 24 August 2023
Date responded: 21 September 2023
I am asking for the following information:
Request for information 1: The longest recorded processing time of an Adult Disability Application decision for a person with a terminal illness in 2022/23 (financial year).
In other words, the longest amount of time on record that it took for a person with a terminal illness to have their application processed an decided on by Social Security Scotland.
If your response is that it would cost too much then please explain in detail why because surely the data is collected and stored in an accessible format so that it can be measured against Social Security Scotland's own target of 7 days.
Request for information 2: The number of people with a terminal illness who applied for Adult Disability Payment in 2022/23 (financial year).
Response to your request
I have provided some of the information you requested.
Request for information 1:
Social Security Scotland aims to make decisions within seven working days of receiving a completed application form and Benefits Assessment for Special Rules in Scotland (BASRiS) form for cases eligible under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness.
We have interpreted your question to be requesting the longest time it has taken for Social Security Scotland to reach a decision once receiving a completed application and BASRiS form.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.
To identify the longest processing time we would need to interrogate each individual case record for cases processed under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.
You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600, for example by narrowing the timescale of your request. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at:
Request for information 2:
Social Security Scotland received 2,093 applications in financial year 2022/23 which have been identified as eligible under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness. Applications eligible under the Special Rules will be identified by the submission of a Benefits Assessment for Special Rules in Scotland (BASRiS) form, which provides confirmation that an individual meets the Scottish definition of terminal illness.
Advice and Assistance
On the 19 September we published the median processing time under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness in our Adult Disability Payment official statistics publication. The median processing time under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness is 2 days.
The evidence that applications require to be considered under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness can arrive at any point in the application journey. In our publication the processing times for applications eligible under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness are calculated between the received date of the complete application form and the date that a decision was made.
The recently published statistics on this, which can be found in table 9 here –
Social Security Scotland is committed to publishing responses to requests. The Scottish Government also publishes responses to requests. You can view the responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.