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Spotlight on: Social Security benefits

CAS believes that aspects of UK welfare changes will be damaging to Scotland’s people, services, and economy. 

Welfare reform, public service cuts, and the economic climate are combining to place enormous pressure on public services and advice services. On top of this, reductions in benefit levels and eligibility will inevitably drive demand for advice provision at the same time as cuts are being felt across the public and voluntary sectors. Local government and voluntary services may have to pick up the pieces for those affected by welfare reform – all on a shrinking budget.

As client issues with welfare also create problems in many other areas of life including debt, housing, consumer and relationship issues, we expect welfare reform changes to put exceptional pressure on advice services and other areas of the third sector across the country. Early intervention, such as good advice, ultimately saves money – debt and welfare advice is significantly cheaper than homelessness and bankruptcy, and the social outcomes for clients are far better. Local authorities, the Scottish CAB Service and other organisations across the third and public sectors have a shared agenda in helping local people avoid crisis point and are increasingly working in partnership to achieve positive outcomes for the people and communities of Scotland.


  1. 1 Oct 2018

    On Monday the UK Government Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced that her department will fund the Citizens Advice network in Scotland (alongside Citizens Advice England and Wales) to deliver a comprehensive, enhanced support service helping people to make a Universal Credit claim. 

  2. 26 Sep 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland has welcomed the announcement that the new benefits agency, Social Security Scotland, will deliver any face-to-face assessments for disability benefits.

  3. 29 Aug 2018

    The Scottish Government has announced the "qualifying date" for the first payments of the new Carer's Allowance (CA) Supplement to people getting Carer's Allowance by Social Security Scotland. 


  1. Scottish Government debate, 2 October 2018
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: October 2018

    CAS sent a briefing to MSPs ahead of the 'Building a Social Security System Together: Co-designing the Social Security Charter' debate, highlighting suggestions for the Charter from CAB clients and advisers and encouraging an approach of co-production with people who have direct experience of using the current social security system.

  2. Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee Inquiry
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: September 2018

    CAS supported the devolution of employment programmes, as it represents the opportunity to provide schemes that more effectively support long-term unemployed people into work, based on the positive employability programmes already existing in Scotland.

  3. Eilidh McIvor & Olive Hill

    Publication date: September 2018

    Our series of briefings, 'Voices from the Frontline', demonstrates the impact of changes to the UK social security system on people in Scotland. This latest briefing considers the impact of deductions from Universal Credit payments.

  4. Digital access for consumers only using smartphones to access the internet
    Adam Milne & Keith Dryburgh

    Publication date: August 2018


    Some people can only access the internet through their smartphone. When CAS surveyed clients, we found that this was the case for more than 1 in 10 respondents - 20% of all respondents who said they used the internet at all.

     This report looks in more detail at these consumers, analysing their characteristics and assessing their digital access and skills.

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