More than 100 die waiting for adult disability payment, figures show

Social Security Scotland said a number of factors impact on benefit waiting times.

More than 100 die waiting for adult disability payment, figures show PA Media

More than 100 people died last year while waiting for a Scottish Government disability benefit.

Figures released under freedom of information legislation to Scottish Labour showed 116 people in 2023 died while still waiting for their first payout of the Adult Disability Payment (ADP) – Scotland’s version of the personal independence payment (Pip).

Social Security Scotland said there could have been a number of factors which caused increased waiting times for applicants, but the average has dropped since last year.

But Scottish Labour social security spokesman Paul O’Kane said it was “shameful” applicants “spent the final months of their life fighting for the support they were entitled to”.

“The SNP promised to build a fairer, more compassionate social security system in Scotland, but instead their incompetence is leaving disabled people to suffer for months on end while bills pile up,” he added.

“It is utterly appalling that people are dying while waiting for a decision to be made.

“Instead of ending the DWP’s cruel and callous approach to social security, the SNP has recreated it.

“The Cabinet Secretary must explain how this scandalous situation came about and what action she will take to fix it, so disabled people can get the support they are owed with the urgency needed.”

A spokesman for Social Security Scotland said: “Sadly, some clients passed away while their applications for Adult Disability Payment were being processed.

“While we can’t comment on individual cases, there can be a number of factors behind waiting times, including challenges gathering information from a health professional to support an application.

“The average time taken to make a decision on an Adult Disability Payment application has dropped by almost 40% since April 2023 to 59 days in January this year, the most recent month we have official data for.

“We have a separate application route for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness with an average processing time of three working days and are actively encouraging people to use it.”

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