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What you need to apply for Adult Disability Payment

You can choose to apply for Adult Disability Payment online or by phone and paper. There are 2 parts to the Adult Disability Payment application.

If you have a terminal illness, there's a faster process for applying under Special Rules for Terminal Illness.

Completing part 1

Part 1 asks for your personal details.

It will help you to complete part 1 if you have:

  • your personal details, such as date of birth and main address
  • your National Insurance number - you can find this on your National Insurance card, a social security letter, payslip, P60 or P45
  • your bank, building society or credit union account details

You can still apply for Adult Disability Payment if you do not have a bank, building society or credit union account. If your application is successful, you’ll need to contact Social Security Scotland to agree how you want them to pay you.

If you have been outside the Common Travel Area at any time in the last year, you'll need to tell Social Security Scotland when you were away, and why. This is so they can consider your application for Adult Disability Payment in the right way.

If you live in a European Economic Area (EEA) country, Switzerland or Gibraltar, Social Security Scotland need to ask about residency details to make a decision on your application.

Completing part 2

Part 2 asks you about:

  • your condition and how it affects your ability to look after yourself, understand information, and communicate with other people
  • what help and support you need and why
  • how you move around outdoors
  • any medication, treatment or equipment you need

It can take a long time to complete part 2 but you do not have to do it all at once.

You'll only need to give detailed answers to the questions that are relevant to you. Social Security Scotland only ask you what they need to know to decide if you can get Adult Disability Payment.

Social Security Scotland will consider your application in full. Do not worry if you think you have added some information in the wrong place, or repeated yourself.

It will help you to complete part 2 if you have:

  • information about your condition or your symptoms, if you're still waiting for a diagnosis
  • information about any medical tests you have had, and the results if you have them
  • contact details for your GP
  • contact details for anyone else who could give more information about your condition, such as a family member or someone who looks after you

Questions you'll be asked

You can download documents showing the questions you’ll be asked when applying for Adult Disability Payment. They’re for reference only and you should not use them to make an application.

Supporting information

Supporting information is information that:

  • confirms your conditions, disability or needs
  • describes the impact the conditions or disability have on your life

Supporting information is usually copies of documents or letters you may already have at home.  

Social Security Scotland uses supporting information to help them understand your application and make a decision.

What you need to provide

You need to provide a document from a professional that confirms your conditions, disability or needs. It does not need to include a diagnosis.

This can be either:

  • a letter from a professional
  • an official document, such as a prescription list, care plan, or a letter from your HR department about any workplace adjustments

See more examples of supporting information from a professional.

You can also provide information that describes the impact the conditions or disability have on your life. This can be either:

  • a letter or phone call to Social Security Scotland from someone in your wider support network who knows you well
  • information from a professional that describes your needs

How to provide supporting information

You can:

  • send supporting information with your application (this can help Social Security Scotland to process your application quicker) 
  • send supporting information to Social Security Scotland within 28 days of submitting your part 2 application
  • ask Social Security Scotland to get supporting information for you

It may take longer for Social Security Scotland to process your application if you ask them to get the supporting information for you. This is because it can take time getting information from other organisations. 

Find out more about supporting information and how to send it to Social Security Scotland.

How long you have to apply

Once you have completed part 1 of the Adult Disability Payment application, you must complete part 2 within 56 days (eight weeks).

If you're applying online, you can save your application and continue when it suits you within the eight-week period.

You can ask Social Security Scotland for more time to complete part 2 if you need it. You do not have to give a reason.

You do not need to wait until you have supporting information before you submit part 2 of your application. You can submit part 2 and then send supporting information afterwards. If you send supporting information afterwards, you should send this within 28 days of submitting your part 2 application.

You and your data

If you want to know more about how Social Security Scotland uses your data, you can read the privacy notice.

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