Publication - Research and analysis

Social Security client and experience panels research: effects of the coronavirus pandemic on communication preferences – visual summary

Published: 23 Aug 2021
Directorate:
Social Security Directorate
Part of:
Coronavirus in Scotland
ISBN:
9781802012750

A summary of findings from a research project with client and experience panel members about communication preferences.

Social Security client and experience panels research: effects of the coronavirus pandemic on communication preferences – visual summary
Meeting Social Security Scotland in person

Meeting Social Security Scotland in person

Over three quarters (79 per cent) of respondents said they could be interested in meeting Social Security Scotland in person in the future.

Respondents with a long-term health condition or disability were more likely to say they would be interested in meeting in person.

Over half (56 per cent) of respondents said they would consider either visiting a Social Security Scotland location or arranging a meeting at home.

The majority (67 per cent) said they would only feel comfortable meeting in person once all restrictions related to the pandemic had been lifted.

“I would want the COVID-19 pandemic to be over and things to have returned to as close to normal as they can.” (survey respondent)

One in five (20 per cent) said they would consider in-person meetings when the restrictions in their local area allowed people from different households to mix indoors.

“When COVID-19 infections are very low in my area and many people have been vaccinated.” (survey respondent)

Around one in ten (11 per cent) respondents said they would be happy to meet in person while restrictions remain in place.

Feedback highlighted a range of reasons for getting in touch with Social Security Scotland in person.

Reasons for getting in touch in person included:

  • to discuss complex issues;
  • to share documents or evidence;
  • to report problems;
  • and to get extra support during difficult times.

Great idea, would be ideal…If that [meeting in person] was available, that would be Plan A.” (interview participant)

“Yes, definitely face to face. English is my second language and it’s easier face to face they can show me clearly [what to do].” (interview participant)

“I think I will continue to use the online and telephone. Phoning about the state of my application. But if it was more complicated I would go in person.” (interview participant)

Some interview participants with experience of disability benefits said in person meetings were the best way to carry out health assessments.

Most survey respondentssaid they would want to receive a letter (42 per cent) or email (40 per cent) about their visit to a Social Security Scotland location.

Panel members said information before a visit should include details on:

  • who they will meet;
  • COVID-19 safety measures in place at the location;
  • and if bringing children or someone for support would be allowed.

“Do you have to be alone or can you bring someone with you to support you and help you understand things and to support you emotionally or mentally?” (interview participant)


Contact

Email: SocialSecurityExperience@gov.scot