Citizens Advice Scotland is today meeting with a number of organisations to discuss how to improve the use of medical evidence in the social security system
The meeting will discuss the findings of the CAS report, Burden of Proof, which is also published today and which highlights cases in which CAB clients have suffered detriment because important medical evidence is not considered early enough in the claims process.
CAS spokesperson Rhiannon Sims says,
"Our research suggests that benefit claim decisions could be made fairer by gathering additional medical evidence early in the claim.
"Under the current system, such evidence is not always gathered, and if the claim is unsuccessful as a result, the burden of proof falls to the claimant to provide it at the appeal stage. They can then be charged up to £70 to obtain this evidence.
"We want to work constructively with the government and others to change the system so that additional medical evidence is brought forward earlier in the claim process.
"Such a change would benefit all of the different agencies involved, including the government, DWP, GPs, the NHS, the Courts and Tribunals Service, and most importantly, those in need of benefits."