Social Security (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill: business and regulatory impact assessment

This business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) considers the potential impacts of the Social Security (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill on the public, private and third sector.

Test Run of Business Forms

The proposal in the Bill to recover social security assistance from compensation awards requires Scottish Ministers to provide a certificate of recoverable assistance on request to the injured person or any individual who they think will receive a compensation payment in respect of the injured person. A certificate of recoverable assistance is a certificate which specifies, for each form of recoverable social security assistance, the amount of assistance which has been, or is likely to be, received during the relevant period. In practice, Social Security Scotland acting on behalf of Scottish Ministers will issue the certificate of recoverable assistance. The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with Social Security Programme to explore delivery methods for recovering assistance from compensation awards and develop associated forms.

The compensation recovery proposal included in the Bill does not require new forms to be introduced by business. Depending on the eventual delivery method decided upon there is the possibility that new forms might be required, or existing forms amended. In the event that new forms for business are required the Scottish Government is committed to working with the insurance sector to develop and test run the forms with those who will be using them to ensure that they are fit for purpose and user-friendly.

It is not anticipated that new forms for business will be required for the other proposals included in the Bill.

Changes will be needed to the existing Social Security Scotland forms that clients use to request re-determinations and make appeals. Changes would include adding information to the forms about late re-determination and appeals timescales. The Scottish Government anticipate that only minor amendments would be required to existing letters and forms, which have already undergone rigorous user research.

Digital Impact Test

The proposals included in the Bill do not change digital technologies (including platforms) and markets.

Legal Aid Impact Test

The Scottish Government does not anticipate significant impacts on the legal aid budget as a result of the Bill.

The right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) is provided for in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. Currently, Civil Legal Aid or Assistance By Way of Representation (ABWOR) is not available for social security matters before the First-Tier Tribunal. Advice and Assistance is available to provide advice to a person in relation to social security matters, however legal aid funding for representation before the First-Tier Tribunal in relation to social security matters is not available. As such, any increase in appeal volumes attributable to the provisions in the Bill is unlikely to affect the legal aid budget.

Impact on legal aid budgets must be assessed in a BRIA for each new assistance provided for under the 2018 Act. This Bill is providing for powers for both childhood assistance and care experience assistance within the 2018 Act, which in due course will lead to new types of assistance. However provision for those forms of assistance will be substantively made within secondary legislation, for which a separate BRIA will be undertaken.

Civil Legal Aid will continue to be available to clients to appeal an entitlement decision to the Upper Tribunal, Court of Session or Supreme Court.

The Scottish Government expects the impact on the Legal Aid budget to be minimal as a result of the introduction of the proposals in the Bill.



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