Social Security in Scotland: consultation (easy read version)

Easy read version of the consultation on social security, including policy, delivery and operational issues.

Part 1: Our Goals

Making our goals part of the law

a target with an arrow in the centre

One of our main goals is that social security in Scotland should be fair and should treat everyone with equal respect. We are thinking about how we can support this goal in the law.

The two ideas that we have are:

Idea A - A Claimant Charter

This would be a shared agreement between the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland. The Scottish Government staff who work in the social security agency should treat people claiming benefits in a certain way. The agreement would also say that our staff must be treated in the same way. This agreement should be put in writing.

Idea B: Writing values into the law

The new law could promise dignity and respect through openness and fairness for everyone.

The difference between these two ideas is that that we would be able to put more in the charter than we would be able to set out in law. A charter would be easier for people to read than parts of a new law. However a law might be easier to put into practice. We would like your views on these two ideas.

Outcomes and the user experience

a check-list and a hand holding a pen, ticking off each item

The Scottish Government has worked with people, groups and organisations to come up with a set of outcomes. These targets will decide how we run the social security system in Scotland and help us to check how it is working the future.

This list sets out what we want our system to do:

People who are applying for or getting Scottish benefits:

  • Are treated with dignity and respect
  • Can get help and advice to claim benefits
  • Are supported with applications and assessments
  • Are given a choice about how their benefits are paid
  • Have a good experience with the Scottish social security system

People who are getting Scottish benefits and their families:

  • Have more control over their lives
  • Have more confidence and security
  • Are happier and healthier
  • Are better able to be part of society and make the most of their lives

The Scottish social security system:

  • Is run in a way that works best for the people who need it
  • Is easy to use
  • Works well with other services so people get the support they need
  • Treats everyone the same

Scottish Benefits:

  • Are given to the right people to work against poverty
  • Make people's lives better
  • Are paid to everyone who is entitled to them
  • Are paid at the right time and at the right amount to help people

People living in Scotland:

  • Know about benefits and who and what they are for
  • Have a good attitude towards benefits and the people who get them
  • Think that Scottish benefits are good value for money
  • Know about the important work that carers do
  • Think that social security is as important as any other public service

Other public services and charities:

  • Are under less pressure because of changes to social security in Scotland

Along with the health and social care system:

  • Social security should help people to live healthier lives in the community

We are also thinking about the best way to give social security services in Scotland. We want to make sure that:

  • Communications are clear, and do not pick on anyone unfairly
  • People can choose the way they want to contact us
  • We involve people who get the benefits in the planning, development and testing of new systems. This will make sure the technology works well for the people who need to use it.

We would like your views on the outcomes which we have set out. We would like to know if you think there are any other outcomes which we have not included.

Delivering social security in Scotland

three people having a meeting round a table, looking at documents and talking about them

The Scottish Government could be in charge of giving benefits, or other organisations could be in charge of social security.

To help us decide the best way to run social security services, we would like you to think about these things:

Should social security payments in Scotland be cash only, or should there be a choice of goods and cash?

How can we best use technology for social security delivery in Scotland?

Should the social security services in Scotland allow you to speak to someone in person?

Independent advice

a woman wearing a name badge, talking on a phone, with an information sign behind her

The UK Government has decided that the Scottish Parliament will now be able to make its own plans for social security in Scotland.

We would like to know if you think there should be an independent organisation in Scotland that looks at how the social security system is run. It could also advise on how it could work better.

Would you like a service set up to inspect social security?


a woman talking while a hand writes down what she’s saying

We have told you our ideas on:

  • Making our aims part of the law
  • Delivering social security
  • Independent advice

You may want to tell us what you think on all of these or just some of them. Please tell us what you are giving answers on when you answer the two key questions below:

What do you think about these ideas?

Is there anything else you would like to say about this section?


Email: Edward Orr,

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