This report focusses specifically on the supporting information aspect of the application process for disability benefits. At the time this evaluation took place, reviews of existing CDP or ADP awards were in early stages of being carried out. The number of reviews for disability benefits was therefore minimal. Thus, the decision was taken to focus on the application process specifically with regard to supporting information. Though, the policy for supporting information is the same across both applications and reviews, so findings from the current evaluation can also feed into the review process.
Furthermore, as the two devolved disability benefits that have been launched nationwide are ADP and CDP, the supporting information process concerning these disability benefits specifically will therefore be the focus of this evaluation.
The overall aim of the evaluation is to provide the Scottish Government with robust, timely research on the supporting information aspect of the decision-making process concerning applications, in line with the government's Devolved Disability Benefits Evaluation Strategy (PDF, 582.6kB).
This evaluation will help to increase our knowledge of whether and how the policy commitments are being implemented as intended. It will also increase knowledge of their corresponding impacts, and whether these impacts are in line with Social Security Scotland principles and wider government objectives. It will also feed into policy and process improvements, where required, to ensure that the policy intent is being met.
This evaluation has also been iterative in nature. To improve the existing supporting information process, implementation of the supporting information policy, as well as the overall experience of individuals during the decision-making process, emerging research findings and recommendations have been made available to relevant teams across Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland throughout the evaluation. This has allowed for recommendations being implemented in a timely manner.
The Methodology section on page 13 illustrates and describes the theoretical approach underpinning this evaluation.
In order to achieve these aims, the following research questions will be addressed:
- How did individuals experience the supporting information aspect of the application process? What went well and what did not go well?
- Do individuals and staff (see Annex A - Glossary of staff roles) fully understand what constitutes useful supporting information and the role that supporting information plays in the application process?
- Do individuals fully understand how to access relevant guidance and support in relation to supporting information?
- Do individuals feel that a person-centred approach was taken in the collection and use of their supporting information?
- What were the relevant impacts of individuals' experiences of the supporting information process in relation to Social Security Scotland principles and wider government objectives?
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