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Publications

  1. Publication date:
    June 2015

    This briefing was sent to Scottish MPs ahead of a discussion around the welfare provisions in the Scotland Bill.  

  2. Gael Scott and Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    April 2015

    CAS has submitted evidence to the Welfare Reform Committee's inquiry on women and welfare reform. This submission is based on a comprehensive analysis of client profile data from people who visited citizens advice bureaux in Scotland over a one month period (November 2014). It also based on evidence and case studies from bureaux which show the impact that different welfare reforms have had so far for people in Scotland.

  3. Oversight of DWP activities in Scotland and Draft Clauses on welfare
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    April 2015

    This submission is based on CAS’ arguably unique insight into benefits administration in Scotland. In 2013/14, Scottish Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) dealt with over 324,000 benefits and tax credits issues – 36.6% of all CAB advice. In the nine months of April to December 2014, we dealt with a total of 248,000 issues – accounting for 37.2% of all CAB advice. CAB are the leading providers of advice in this area and we provide our service in 30 out of 32 local authority areas reaching 94% of the population.

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomed the Smith Commission and much of the Command Paper, and look forward to working with all those involved in the transfer and transition of powers to the Scottish Parliament. We have called for this to be carried out in the best interests of the people of Scotland. Our submission to the Smith Commission focused on three principles – fairness, responsiveness and equality.

  4. Publication date:
    April 2015

    Narrowing the digital divide in Scotland is one of the most important issues faced by policymakers.  However, there citizens across Scotland who are excluded from this valuable resource and in turn excluded from the benefits access to the internet can bring.

  5. Scottish Parliament debate - 'An End to In-Work Poverty'
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    March 2015

    The most recent figures from the Scottish Government show that in-work poverty is rising. The majority of working age adults in poverty (52%) are now from working households and it is not the case that work by itself is a route out of poverty. Citizens advice bureaux in Scotland are reporting a growing number of cases where clients are in work, but are struggling to pay for essentials. Citizens Advice Scotland’s ongoing ‘Working at the Edge’ series of publications examines the growing problems caused by in-work poverty through the stories of the thousands of clients advised by citizens advice bureaux in Scotland, and makes recommendations for change.

  6. Gael Scott
    Publication date:
    March 2015

    Our series of briefings ‘Voices from the Frontline’ show the reality of the impact of current welfare changes on the people of Scotland. We highlight the experiences of the thousands of clients advised by CAB in Scotland and make recommendations for change.

  7. Implementing the Smith Agreement: Welfare benefits
    Publication date:
    March 2015
  8. A consultation on draft Regulations
    Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    January 2015

    CAS has responded to the consultation on the draft regulations for Universal Credit data sharing. In order to provide a representative response on behalf of the Citizens Advice Service, we consulted bureaux in Scotland on the proposals and received responses from 32 citizens advice bureaux. This response represents a summary of the responses received. 

  9. Rhiannon Sims and Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    December 2014

    CAS has responded to the Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into benefit sanctions policy beyond the Oakley Review. We believe that the Review was too narrow in its remit and this inquiry represents a vital opportunity to take a wider look at the sanctions regime, its purpose and impact on claimants. 

  10. Commission on Housing & Wellbeing
    Rob Gowans, Kate Morrison, Fraser Stewart and Fraser Sutherland
    Publication date:
    November 2014

    CAS contributed evidence to the independent Commission on Housing & Wellbeing's wide-ranging consultation on how housing can promote a society in which everyone can flourish.

  11. Consultation by the Social Security Advisory Committee
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    October 2014

    CAS commented on a proposal to introduce seven benefit 'waiting days' for new Universal Credit claimants. This follows a recent increase in the number of waiting days from three to seven for JSA and ESA. We drew the SSAC's attention to a number of potential issues, including possible equalities impacts, the impact on housing and rent arrears, on other benefits and on in-work claimants on zero hours contracts.

  12. Delays and assessments
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    October 2014

    Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a crucial benefit for many sick and disabled people. It is designed to help with the extra costs of being sick or having a disability, such as additional heating, additional travel costs, special diets, or specialist equipment. Its predecessor, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), has often been a mainstay for some of the most vulnerable clients attending citizens advice bureaux (CAB), particularly when there have been administrative problems with income-replacement benefits.

    Scottish bureaux have been supporting clients to claim PIP since the benefit was first introduced in Scotland in June 2013. Since January 2014, the process of PIP reassessment was rolled out to a large swathe of Scotland, amounting to around half of the DLA caseload in Scotland. CAS carried out a survey of bureau advisers in August 20141 to find out the experiences of those making applications for Personal Independent Payment.  This report looks at the feedback from bureaux, clients and advisers.

  13. CAS submission
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    September 2014

    CAS has responded to the Independent Review of Personal Independence Payment. 

    The response, based on case evidence and a survey of advisers in bureaux across Scotland, highlights the severe impact huge delays in PIP assessments are having on claimants.

  14. "Litchfield Review"
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    CAS responds to the final independent review of the Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance benefit.

  15. A discussion paper
    Angus Citizens Advice Bureau
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    A discussion paper by Angus Citizens Advice Bureau looking at the Department for Work and Pension's "Digital by Default" strategy.  In particular, the paper considers how this works for CAB clients in Angus, many of whom have difficulties with technology.

    The report concludes that if the Government is to meet its target of moving 80% of all benefits claimants online, then it must take a multi-dimensional approach that takes into account the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our society to ensure that they are not offline and left behind.

  16. Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    July 2014

    This report is one of the most detailed examinations of the impact of sanctions in Scotland so far. It provides an analysis of the current system, its impact on clients , real case evidence and the findings of a survey of Scottish CAB advisers. We also provide 16 recommendations that are needed to the current  system and why they are needed.

  17. Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    June 2014

    In October 2013 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made it a requirement that all claimants for benefits who wanted to take a case to appeal would have to get a DWP decision maker to reconsider the decision first. This is known as a mandatory reconsideration. Whilst claimants must ask for mandatory reconsideration within four weeks from the notice of a decision; there are no timescales within which the DWP have to respond though the aim is within 16 working days.

  18. Conference report
    Citizens Advice Bureaux in Glasgow
    Publication date:
    May 2014

    Leading charities gathered in the Glasgow City Chambers for The Working Together to Tackle Poverty Conference in March 2014.

  19. Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    April 2014

    CAS has submitted evidence on food parcels to the Welfare Reform Committee ahead of an oral evidence session on the 29th April 2014. 

     

  20. Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    April 2014

    Our series of briefings ‘Voices from the Frontline’ show the reality of the impact of current welfare changes on the people of Scotland. We highlight the experiences of the thousands of clients advised by CAB in Scotland and make recommendations for change.

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