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.

Value for money

The second section of the consultation set out Scottish Government ideas to make the social security system give better value for money.

Compensation recovery

A person who has an accident, injury or disease may get benefits. If another person or company was to blame, then the person may be paid money called compensation.

People were asked if insurance companies should pay back the money that the person has had from Social Security Scotland.

Feedback was mixed on this. Almost half of people who answered the question agreed, almost half did not know and the rest disagreed.

People who agreed said it was important that taxpayers' money was not used to pay people twice for the same injury or disease.

People who disagreed said the idea would put too much stress on people. A large number of people were unsure about this idea because they did not know much about the subject.


When a person lies and claims money that they should not have, they have committed fraud.

People were asked if Social Security Scotland should have other options instead of taking people to court.

More than half of people who answered this question agreed. Around a third disagreed and the other third did not know.

People who agreed with this idea said that taking people to court was expensive, takes a lot of time and is stressful or scary for the people involved. It was suggested it would be better to make people pay back the money and a penalty or community payback.

People who disagreed with this idea made two main points:

People should always be taken to court if there is enough information to show that a fraud has taken place.

It would be important for people who were taken to court to have access to a legal defence.

Overpayment where someone acts on behalf of a client

The Scottish Government suggested that if there is an overpayment, Social Security Scotland should ask the person who got the money to repay it. People were asked if third parties, like appointees, should also be responsible for repaying overpayments if they kept the money.

Most people who answered this question agreed, while a small number disagreed and some did not know.

People who agreed said:

The idea would help to protect vulnerable people without stopping people from volunteering to act on someone else's behalf.

Friends or family could be involved in helping someone and could make an honest mistake.

Third parties should not have to pay back an overpayment if they did not make the mistake or it was the sort of mistake that a person could not be expected to notice.

Some people said that third parties like appointees should only have to pay back the money if they got the money. They said it would be unfair to hold that person responsible otherwise.

People who disagreed with this idea felt that a third party like an appointee might not want to act on someone's behalf if they thought they might have to pay back overpayments.



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