Part 3: Making it work
The right advice can have a huge effect on services. It can point people in need to the right support at the right times, help them through making claims and appeals and mean that more people get the benefits they deserve.
The Scottish Government wants to make sure that people can get the service they need.
The Scottish Government intends to work closely with advice organisations to find out find out what work they do. We will find out how much work they can take on. This will help us to:
- Understand the main things affecting advice services now and in the future
- Find out how organisations and people will manage the changes to the social security in Scotland
- Find out if we can make the most of the changes to improve advice services
We want to use this consultation to ask for peoples' views on the advice that is currently given. We would like you to think about how advice organisations should help in the development of a new Scottish social security system. Could changes be used to improve the advice that is given?
Complaints, reviews and appeals
We want to give the best services and information to everyone who uses Scotland's social security system. But sometimes people are not happy with the service they got. This is why we need a good system in place to deal with complaints.
We would like your views on the best way to handle people's comments, concerns and complaints. We believe that internal checks would help us to make better decisions.
We would like your ideas on how a Scottish internal checking process should work.
It is important that people are able to challenge decisions they do not agree with. There must be a good appeals process that anyone can use. We will make an appeals process for these benefits which is fair and easy to use. There will be a set timescale for decisions.
We think that appeals should be decided by a tribunal hearing. We would like you tell us what you think about this.
Where you live and benefits issues
When Scotland starts delivering these benefits there is a possibility that some issues about where a person lives may come up. There will be borders between the different social security systems in Scotland and England.
The Scottish Government will need to set out who can get the benefits it will offer depending on where someone normally lives.
The Scottish Government expects that a test will be based on where a person is living. This will be looked at when deciding if a person can get a benefit they have applied for. We would like you to tell us what you think about this.
Managing overpayments and debt
Mistakes which cause overpayments mean that there is less public money to spend on those who need it. To stop this, we need to spot mistakes and put them right.
At the moment, a claimant is asked to pay back an overpayment even if it is not their fault. We want to know if you think this is the best way to deal with overpayments.
The Scottish Government will make sure the money it spends on social security is spent properly. We will not accept any fraud. People who have committed fraud should be punished.
We suggest the Scottish Government should investigate fraud the same way as DWP. We would like your views on how the DWP investigate fraud and any ways you think it could be done better.
Protecting your information
The Scottish Government believes that every person has the right to privacy and that personal information should be protected.
We will keep all information safe and private.
We will protect the privacy of people by only taking the information we need for benefits applications.
We will only share information that would help services run better.
We would like your views on whether you agree with sharing information to help services run better. We would only do this when the person has said we can.
Raising benefits yearly
We will raise disability benefits to keep them in line with the rise in general prices.
We would like your views on whether there should be a rise in these benefits. How could we make the system simpler and easier to understand.
Treating everyone equally
The Scottish Government has to think about how it can make sure that everyone is treated equally.
People shouldn't be treated any differently because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, gender including pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.
This helps us make sure we are doing our best to meet people's different needs as well as possible.
We have told you our ideas on:
- Advice, representation and advocacy
- Complaints, reviews and appeals
- Where you live and benefit issues
- Managing overpayments
- Protecting your information
- Raising benefits yearly
You may want to give us answers 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 the ideas in this section?
Is there anything else you would like to say about this section?
Email: Edward Orr, email@example.com