4.1 Have you consulted with the ICO using the Article 36(4) form?
(please provide a link to it)
If the ICO has provided feedback, please include this.
We have consulted with the ICO using the Article 36 (4) form. This is included at Annex D.
Feedback from the ICO is also included at Annex E.
4.2 Do you need to hold a public consultation and if so has this taken place? What was the result?
A public consultation on Carer Support Payment (which had a working title of Scottish Carer's Assistance at the time) took place between February and May 2022. The consultation formally closed on 23rd May 2022 and the results were analysed by an external researcher, Why Research.
In total, there were 192 responses to the consultation. The consultation set out a number of proposals in relation to Carer Support Payment and a majority of respondents agreed with each of these.
These covered questions on:
- eligibility criteria for the benefit at launch,
- proposed policy around re-determinations timescales
- propose policy on suspensions of benefit awards, when the benefit would be set to £0 and short-term assistance for carers
- proposed policy on awarding extra money to carers
- future eligibility changes for the benefit after the completion of case transfer.
There were no specific questions concerning data protection or privacy. Further detail on the key findings of the public consultation can be found in Annex F.
4.3 Were there any Comments/feedback from the public consultation about privacy, information or data protection?
While there were no detailed comments on information sharing as part of the feedback to the public consultation it is worth noting that one of the key themes from the consultation was the importance of the launch of Carer Support Payment and the replacement of Carer's Allowance in Scotland with Carer Support Payment not doing anything which would disrupt carers' existing support or wider benefits. The sharing of information between Social Security Scotland and UK Government departments and Northern Ireland will allow us to ensure that Carer Support Payment will have the same links with wider support as Carer's Allowance and prevent any disruption to benefits.
Two surveys of experience panel membersand a series of individual and group interviews focused on the case transfer process itself, including when clients should be notified, what information they should be given, what order clients should be transferred in, and what information should be transferred, These were carried out in Spring 2019 and the results published:
- DWP benefits case transfers: survey findings - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
- Social Security Experience Panels: designing the benefits case transfer process - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Due to the technical nature of the provisions and the engagement on the process to date it was not considered necessary to undertake a formal consultation on the draft regulatory provisions for case transfer. We continue to engage with stakeholders whilst we design the processes for case transfer.
Both case transfer surveys sought feedback from experience panel members on the processes for transfer. Responses to the first survey showed a strong preference that no client should have to reapply for their benefit as part of the case transfer process. In the second set of interviews with experience panel members participants were presented with the different types of information that Social Security Scotland may take over as part of a client's case transfer. Participants were asked how they felt about Social Security Scotland taking over the different information types. It was explained that some information is essential for Social Security Scotland to take over as part of a client's case, including payment information, personal information (such as a client's address and contact information) and award information. All participants asked agreed that this information should be transferred as part of a client's case. Nearly all those asked were happy with Social Security Scotland taking over application information. Again, the majority of participants were happy for information submitted for evidence to be taken over. Views were mixed on taking over assessment information and case management information.
Some participants saw no problems with Social Security Scotland taking over assessment information and thought it would be better for Social Security Scotland to have all the information that DWP currently hold as part of a client's case. Some participants requested that Social Security Scotland staff view the contents of previous assessments with a critical eye if the information is to be transferred. However, some participants thought that assessment information should not be taken over. The most common reason for this was that participants did not feel the information from their assessment was accurate or correct.Participants spoke of their previous experience of assessments with DWP and some said they would like a fresh start with Social Security Scotland.
Some participants wanted case management information to be transferred so that there was a fully comprehensive record of a client's circumstances. However, many participants saw this information as irrelevant and questioned whether it would be needed. Similarly to assessment information, some participants also spoke of wanting a fresh start with Social Security Scotland and therefore didn't want this information transferred.
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