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The Future of Social Security in Scotland debate

Citizens Advice Scotland briefing for MSPs

Designing a new social security system for Scotland is a major opportunity and challenge. CAS has attempted to bring the best of our unique evidence base to inform the development of the new system based on the experiences of those who work with the current system on a daily basis. In developing a substantial response to the Scottish Government’s recent public consultation on the devolved social security system, CAS carried out specific engagement activity with 144 CAB clients and 102 CAB advisers with direct experience of the current system, in addition to CAB case information which provide real time insights into the daily operation of the system.

This briefing focusses on three key areas that CAS would consider priorities for the new system: 

  • Ensuring that the new system delivers dignity and respect in practice by adequately resourcing the new Agency, fostering a dignified and respectful culture at every level of governance and management, giving claimants a choice of communication methods with the Agency including face-to-face contact, and involving users of the system and those that work with them at all levels of service design and delivery.

  • Changes to the eligibility criteria for carers benefits to provide recognition of the needs of more of Scotland’s full-time carers.

  • Reforming the complex review and appeals process bymaking it one seamless process from the perspective of the claimant. CAS recommends that, during the review process, payments continue for clients who are already in receipt of the benefit in question, and that statutory timescales are introduced within which the review must be carried out.
Rob Gowans
Publication date
November 2016
Publication type
Number of pages