Weekly Poll – Adult Disability Payment: Delays

Each week Disability Equality Scotland sends out a poll question to our members and for the week beginning 29 May 2023, we asked a question about delays to Adult Disability Payment. Any identifying information within respondents’ comments has been removed. Please note that this is a snapshot of the views of our membership and does not reflect the policy stance of Disability Equality Scotland. If you plan to reference the findings featured in this report, please contact us in advance so that we are aware of this.

Results– 37 respondents

Question 1. Do you receive Adult Disability Payment, or have you applied for this new system?

  • Yes – 76%
  • No – 24%

Question 2. If yes, how long did it take for you to receive a decision?

  • Within 4 months (40%)
  • 4-7 months (30%)
  • Longer than 7 months (30%)


Respondents who had applied for Adult Disability Payment reflected on their experiences of the time taken to receive updates on the progress of their application to the stage in which they received a decision. There was general consensus amongst respondents that there had been delays in the process.

“My wife applied for ADP at the end of December and just last week (beginning of June) received a call saying that her claim was being looked at. This was a nice surprise, getting a call from the person looking after the claim was appreciated when compared to the old DWP approach of nothing until you get a letter. So, it took five months just to get the form to someone to look at it let alone start to gather evidence to check if is valid.”

“My move from DLA due to change in health started in July 2022. I moved to ADP January 2023 and had a face-to-face help to fill in review form on 17th January. The people who came wrote quite a few things incorrectly and my review decision was made on 7th June 2023 and a lot of things on my review are wrong.”

“I applied last year, and it took roughly 6 months. Overall, my experience is a big improvement on PIP, but we need to deal with the delays.”


 Respondents noted that there was a lack of communication after they submitted the application, meaning that there was uncertainty on how long it would take for a decision to be made. For some respondents, this uncertainty had been stressful, particularly at a time when disabled people are disproportionately impacted by the cost of living crisis.

“One of my real complaints with the process is the radio silence once a claim is made, you get an acknowledgement but then nothing, it is incredibly stressful not knowing what is going on. Statements that “the average claim is being dealt with in four months” is slightly incredulous when my wife’s claim is five months old and hasn’t even been looked at. With the cost of living crisis the delays in getting money which can help with the extra costs of being disabled is making life much more difficult than it needs be.”

“In between waiting on a review decision, I kept calling with updates but people either did not put it on the system or put the wrong info. Promised call backs never received, has been a complete and utter worst experience.”

“The communication is terrible after you apply. It would be good for updates of what stage it’s at.”

“Wait times on the phone are crazy. Had to phone a couple of times and they would not share anything.”

In response to the delays, the majority of respondents stated that this must be addressed by Social Security Scotland investing in more staff.

“Was hoping that this new organisation would be better than DWP. They must not have enough staff to work on applications.”

“To put it simply, there needs to be more staff involved to deal with the delays. Social Security Scotland are doing a lot of stuff right, but this is something they need to address as a priority.”

“It should not take as long as 4 months, get temp staff in to cope with backlog still waiting. Start afresh with enough staff who are trained to deal and understand issues individuals apply with. It’s not rocket science.”


Respondents who had applied for Adult Disability Payment acknowledged that there had been delays in receiving a decision. It was also highlighted that there was a lack of communication from Social Security Scotland regarding the progress of applications. Given the current cost of living crisis, the uncertainty had created stress for some respondents. The majority of respondents stated that Social Security Scotland must employ more staff to deal with the current delays.