Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group


The Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Group was set up in March 2016 to inform and influence the development of policy options relating to disability and ill health social security benefits (DLA, PIP, AA and SDA).

These options will inform advice to Ministers to support the implementation of Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. 

The group advises on:

  • the evidence base for policy decisions
  • potential impact of policy decisions
  • user and stakeholder engagement
  • fit with the wider public sector landscape
  • interaction with wider Scottish and UK social security benefits


The work of the Group will inform advice to Scottish Ministers, and feed into the Social Security Programme Management structure through the relevant policy project. The policy project is one strand of the Social Security Programme, which has overall responsibility for the successful devolution of social security policy and delivery. Other projects focus on legislation, delivery option and data.

Terms of engagement

Minutes outlining key discussion items, decisions and actions will be taken of meetings and published online. Chatham House rules may apply. This will be agreed in advance of some discussions. Where Group papers are confidential this will be made clear to members.

All members are participating in the group as representatives of their organisation/profession.

The Scottish Government Ill Health and Disability Benefits Policy Unit will Chair and provide secretariat support to the Group.


  • Claire McDermott, Chair, Scottish Government
  • Annie Gunnar Logan, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Kate Burton, NHS Income and Welfare Reform
  • Donna Burnett, NHS Public Health Practitioner
  • Ed Pybus, Child Poverty Action Group
  • Gill Young, Castle Rock Edinvar
  • Graham Watt, University of Glasgow
  • Garrick Smyth, COSLA
  • Richard Gass, Rights Advice Scotland
  • Yvette Burgess, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Michael McMahon, Disability Agenda Scotland
  • Dr Mini Mishra, Scottish Government
  • Emelia Crichton, Director of Public Health
  • Jim Hume, National Rural Mental Health Forum
  • Bill Scott, Inclusion Scotland
  • Gerard McFeely, Occupational Therapy, NHS Lothian
  • Rob Gowans, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Jim Carle, Disabled Children and Young People Advisory Group
  • Dean Pemberton, Scottish Government
  • Thomas Grant, Scottish Government