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Publications

  1. CAB Clients in Crisis
    Rhiannon Sims
    Publication date:
    July 2016

    On-going analysis of CAB case evidence over the last four years has shown that more and more bureaux clients are experiencing periods of no income, and are unable to afford essentials including food, gas and electricity to heat their homes, as well as priority payments such as rent. More worryingly still are the number of clients who present at bureaux having not eaten in a number of days. 

  2. CAS written evidence
    Rhiannon Sims
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    If conditionality is to be used within the benefit system, CAS believes it must be part of a holistic system that supports, rather than compels, jobseekers into sustainable employment. Sanctions should be always proportionate to the “offence” and should be operated as a last resort to ensure that claimants are seeking employment in exchange for their benefit. 

  3. Early Evidence of the Impact of Universal Credit in Scotland's CAB Network
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    This report presents many of the Universal Credit cases that Scotland’s CAB network has advised on during the first year of the rollout. At this stage, it is a only a small fraction of the people who will eventually receive Universal Credit – single jobseekers with ‘simple’ claims. However, the evidence allows us to start to identify some of the challenges that may stand in the way of the success of Universal Credit and to make recommendations for how these obstacles can be overcome. These challenges fall into three groups – design challenges, transitional and administrative challenges and future challenges.

  4. Briefing for Scottish Parliament debate - 9 June 2016
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    This briefing focuses on the opportunities that the devolution of social security powers to Scotland with a particular focus on disability benefits – it is the chance to design a system that has the principles of dignity and respect at its heart. The following pages outline the challenges and issues that the Parliament needs to address to make this system a reality.

  5. Briefing for MSPs - Scottish Parliament debate 2 June 2016
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    This briefing focuses on the opportunities that the devolution of social security powers offers to Scotland – it is the chance to design a system that has the principles of dignity and respect at its heart. The following pages outline the challenges and issues that the parliament needs to address to make this system a reality.

  6. Patrick Hogan
    Publication date:
    May 2016

    A third of CAB clients find themselves digitally excluded, according to new research.

  7. UK Parliament Work and Pensions Committee
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    May 2016

    Citizens Advice Scotland is extremely concerned about the potential negative impact of the abolition of the ESA Work Related Activity component. The removal of support for the additional costs faced by disabled people through this component could have the effect of creating additional barriers to them gaining employment. The majority of people affected by the move are far from the labour market, with 73% of Scottish claimants in the ESA Work Related Activity Group having been in receipt of the benefit for more than two years, and in some cases will never be fit for work again.

  8. CAS response
    Rhiannon Sims
    Publication date:
    March 2016

    CAS has responded to the Social Security Advisory Committee's consultation on Decision Making and Mandatory Reconsideration. 

  9. Social Security Advisory Committee consultation
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    February 2016

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to a consultation on the UK Government's proposed changes to the length of time a person can be absent from Great Britain without losing entitlement to Housing Benefit and Pension Credit.

  10. Commons consideration of Lords amendments
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    February 2016

     Citizens Advice Scotland is extremely concerned regarding the proposals to reduce the value of the Work Related Activity (WRAG) component of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The principle underlying the WRAG is to take people who, while unable to work at present, could do so in the future, and provide them with financial support, advice and training to return to the workforce. The changes proposed in the Bill run counter to this principle and risk serious detriment to the often vulnerable claimants in this group.

  11. Gael Scott
    Publication date:
    February 2016

    CAS has recently responded to a consultation by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on aids and appliances and the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

  12. Second Reading
    Gael Scott
    Publication date:
    January 2016

    The Benefit Sanctions Regime (Entitlement to Hardship Payments) Bill is a Private Members' Bill introduced by Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP. It would ensure that hardship payments are available to claimants who have had their benefit sanctioned from day one of a sanction period, and that such payments would be made automatically.

  13. Response to UK Parliament Work and Pensions Committee Inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    January 2016

    In-work progression support provided should be appropriate to an individual claimant’s circumstances. Support should aim to help claimants find a job that is better suited to their skills, experience, ambitions and individual requirements. It should not merely consist of setting targets to apply for a particular number of jobs each week, without regard to suitability or quality. If mandatory requirements are set, caution should be taken that they are reasonable and appropriate.

  14. Gael Scott
    Publication date:
    December 2015

    To inform the development of a distinct Scottish approach to disability and carers’ benefits, Citizens Advice Scotland gathered views from bureau advisers and clients across Scotland on how they would want the new powers to be used when they are devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This report outlines CAS's research findings and a number of recommendations for how the Scottish Government should use its new powers.

  15. Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    December 2015

    The process of devolving social security powers to Scotland includes control over employment programmes and Discretionary Housing Payments. This report sets out a summary of CAB evidence in these areas, and makes recommendations for how the Scottish Government should use the powers when they are devolved.

  16. Fraser Sutherland
    Publication date:
    December 2015

    This report outlines recommendations for improvements that could be made to the current system of Funeral Payments, which will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

  17. Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    December 2015

    Powers over certain elements of Universal Credit will be devolved to Scotland. This report sets the findings of a survey of CAB clients on how they currently budget and would prefer to receive payments, and makes recommendations for how the new devolved powers could be used.

  18. Fraser Stewart
    Publication date:
    December 2015

    The Scotland Bill intends to give the Scottish Parliament legislative competence over provision of financial assistance for the type of payments currently provided by the Regulated Social Fund. This will include provision to make provision for the Cold Weather Payment (CWP) and Winter Fuel Payment (WFP), including conditions of entitlement or to replace these benefits entirely. This report sets out CAB evidence and recommendations for how the new powers should be used.

  19. Gael Scott
    Publication date:
    November 2015

    From April 2016, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman will take over responsibility for further review of decisions by local authorities in relation to the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF). The SPSO has recently been consulting on a Draft Statement of Practice setting out the approach it intends to take in relation to reviews.

  20. Report Stage and Third Reading
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    November 2015

    This briefing focusses on amendments tabled to the Scotland Bill addressing areas where the
    Bill does not appear to meet the intent of the Smith Agreement. Citizens Advice
    Scotland is concerned that, as currently drafted, there are risks of detriment
    to CAB clients, who sought advice on 220,000 new
    benefits issues in 2014/15 and who have been subject to recent changes to reserved tribunals which have
    had a marked and detrimental effect on consumers in Scotland.

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