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Citizens Advice Scotland Response to the Work and Pensions Committee’s Call for Evidence on Health Assessments for Benefits

Key Points

  • CAS is pleased to respond to this call for evidence on health assessments. We have long been calling for fairer processes which put people’s rights at the heart of it, and we want to see a fairer system of dignified, accessible, timely, and fair medical assessments that provide disabled people with the support they are entitled to.
  • Although there will be no new claims for PIP due to the full implementation of Adult Disability Payment across Scotland from 29 August, we have responded to the questions relating to the future of PIP as we have a wealth of data and experience on the administration of PIP.
  • CAS has restricted its responses to those where we have robust data to inform our responses.


  • A range of assessment types should be available, face-to-face, telephone and in person, and the client should be able to choose their preferred method. Outcomes for each method should be monitored to ensure parity.
  • Descriptors for both PIP and ESA should be reviewed to better reflect social and human rights models of disability and move beyond assessing a lack of functionality.
  • The use of lived experience panels and user groups involved in the design and development of any changes made to the claims and assessment processes.
  • Consideration should be given to the Social Security Scotland approach to assessment, in particular:
    • The use of specialist assessors;
    • Bringing the assessment 'in-house';
    • Gathering evidence on behalf of the client; and
    • Making a medical assessment the last resort.
David Scott
Publication date
June 2022
Publication type