Social security: consultation results - easy read

This report is about the results of the social security consultation which ran from 4 August 2022 to 27 October 2022. The consultation asked for your views on ideas to make social security in Scotland even better.

Improving client experience

The Scottish Government designed the social security system with people who use the services.

Social Security Scotland is the organisation that deals with claims for benefits and pays money.

A client is a person who gets money paid to them by Social Security Scotland.

Most people who used Scotland's social security system said they were treated fairly and with respect.

We want to make this even better.

Scottish Child Payment

Most people agreed with the Scottish Government's idea to make changes to Scottish Child Payment. Almost all the people who answered this section agreed with the idea while a small number did not know.

Most people said the idea was good because:

It would help reduce child poverty.

It could protect the Scottish Child Payment from changes made by the UK Government to the benefits system.

It could make Scottish Child Payment more like other Social Security Scotland benefits.

It could let the Scottish Government deal with changes and future events more quickly.

Some people said there could be problems with the idea. They said:

Any changes might need more money and staff. It might be difficult to find the money to pay for this.

It might make the way people apply for Scottish Child Payment more difficult and confusing.


Re-determinations are when people ask for a benefit decision to be looked at again.

People were asked if a client should be able to stop a re-determination before Social Security Scotland has made a decision. Almost all people who answered the question agreed. A small number of people disagreed.

People who agreed with this idea said:

It would be fair to let the client decide what they want to do. Clients should not feel forced to stop their re-determination.

Getting independent advice could help people think about all their choices. It would mean less work for Social Security Scotland.

Making an appeal

The consultation asked if a new decision should only be made if it could give the same result as a Tribunal.

The answers were mixed. Nearly half of the people who answered this question agreed and nearly half disagreed. A small number did not know.

People who agreed with this idea said:

People should not have to go to any unwanted Tribunal hearings. This idea could mean less stress for people.

Less time and money would be spent on appeals, the system would be fairer and mistakes could be fixed early.

People who disagreed with this idea said:

It could give fewer options for Social Security Scotland to respond to an appeal.

Some people might be happy with the new decision. They might want to take money that is less than what they could get from a Tribunal.

Applying for a re-determination could be stressful for people. Some people might not apply for a re-determination because of the stress.

People were also asked if the client should be asked if they want that new decision to be made. Most people who answered this question agreed. Some disagreed or said they did not know.

People who agreed with this idea said:

People should be asked what they want at all stages.

It lives up to the promises made by the Scottish Government about putting people in control of their benefits.

It would reduce stress for everyone.

People could be told to go to somebody else who could help with independent advice.

People who disagreed with this idea said that asking the client if they want the new decision might not be needed. Social Security Scotland is allowed to make a new decision. Asking people if they want the new decision could give them more stress.


An appointee is a person who acts for somebody when they cannot make decisions for themselves.

People were asked if Social Security Scotland should be able to use a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appointee. This would be until Social Security Scotland finishes its appointee checks.

Almost all the people who answered this question agreed with the idea and only a small number disagreed. The people who agreed said:

The idea would help payments to be made on time.

The idea has more good parts than risks.

Challenge rights for overpayments

An overpayment is when a client is paid more money than they are due. People were asked if they agreed that people should have be able to challenge Social Security Scotland's decision that an overpayment had to be repaid.

All the people who answered this question agreed with the idea. They said the right to challenge the decision was important for many reasons:

People should be able to challenge an overpayment because it could have happened for a number of reasons and might have been a mistake. Each case should be looked at separately.

The idea could mean people did not have to go to court.

The idea could make the Scottish social security system fairer and more equal, and make it fit better with the UK system.

Many people thought that Social Security Scotland should look at its decision again when a re-determination was asked for. If the person still disagreed then challenges should go to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Social Security Chamber).

Other people suggested going straight to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Social Security Chamber) in some cases or an independent review.



Back to top