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Information relating to Social Security Scotland's "Change of Circumstances" reviews: FOI release

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

FOI Reference: FOI/202300382935
Date received: 9 November 2023
Date responded: 6 December 2023


Thank you for your request dated 30 October 2023 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

Your request

Request for Information 1: The number of individual's ‘change of circumstances’ Social Security Scotland is currently reviewing.

Request for Information 2: The number of ‘change of circumstances’ Social Security Scotland is currently reviewing broken down by type of benefit (Adult Disability Payment, Child Disability Payment etc)

Request for Information 3: The average review time (time it takes to complete a review) at Social Security Scotland according to each type of benefit.

Request for Information 4: The longest recorded time it took for a review to be started and completed by Social Security Scotland. Please specify which benefit it related to.

Clarification: request is for information on all types of review, with a breakdown of the difference between scheduled and unscheduled reviews.

Response to your request

Individuals are informed in their decision letter that they will have a scheduled review after a certain date. This is to ensure that they still meet the eligibility criteria and continue to receive the appropriate rate. Unscheduled reviews are different from scheduled reviews. New information becoming available may prompt an unscheduled review of the individual’s case. Common examples include:

  • a new health condition that impacts on the individual’s ability to carry out the daily living and/or mobility activities


  • a deterioration or improvement in a condition that impacts on the individual’s ability to carry out the daily living and /or mobility activities

Our ‘review’ process involves making a determination without a person in receipt of Adult or Child Disability Payment having to fill in a new application form. A change in circumstance can be reported by filling in a form online or on paper or by calling Social Security Scotland.

Guidance relating to change of circumstance can be found on the stakeholder resources and guidance section of our corporate website by clicking the following link:

Change of Circumstance

Request for Information 1 & 2

Adult Disability Payment and Child Disability Payment are the only two benefits administered by Social Security Scotland which require formal change of circumstance reviews.

The information in the below table provides the number of “changes of circumstances” which Social Security Scotland was reviewing for Adult Disability Payment and Child Disability Payment as at 13 November 2023, including case transfers from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Benefit Type




Adult Disability Payment




Child Disability Payment








Request for Information 3 & 4

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. Social Security Scotland is currently unable to track the dates that review decisions are made, so we are unable to provide data on average or longest review times.

About FOI

Social Security Scotland is committed to publishing responses to requests. The Scottish Government also publishes responses to requests. You can view the responses at

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