7 Additional comments
Finally, in this consultation, respondents were invited to provide any further comments relating to Disability Assistance benefits not covered by the consultation document.
Some of these respondents welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation; and some provided background on their organisation to set the context for their responses.
Overall, a number of these respondents welcomed the emphasis on a person-centred approach to Disability Assistance as this will help to achieve a service that offers dignity, fairness and respect to all individuals receiving Disability Assistance.
One thread throughout the consultation was criticism of the current system and while respondents were largely positive about the proposals being presented in the consultation paper, some respondents hoped that the negative impact(s) of the current system will not be repeated under Social Security Scotland.
A number of respondents wanted the Scottish Government to move away from a points-based system. Overall, there was perceived to be a lack of transparency in the current system, which is also perceived to be punitive and respondents commented on a lack of trust with Department for Work and Pensions.
One third sector organisation commented on the timescales for applications and payments for benefits and suggested that Social Security Scotland should set clear processing targets for Disability Assistance, with regular reporting on its performance. They also commented on the need to ensure a smooth transition from the current system to the new system.
Many of the issues raised reiterated points made at earlier questions. Other issues included:
- A need for greater clarity around the nature of the transitional arrangements between Scottish Government and Department for Work and Pensions.
- A need to conduct a comprehensive review of existing regulations, guidance and case law to ensure that important detail and rights are not lost upon transition from reserved to devolved social security benefits.
- How the roles of guardians and appointees will operate within the Scottish social security framework and how they will interact with the role of independent advocates.
- A need to offer higher number of home visits and outline when these will be offered.
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