The combination of many barriers
At the end of the focus group sessions, we asked participants what they felt were the most significant barriers that they (and others they knew) had experienced that had stopped or delayed them from getting what they were entitled to. In response, some participants spoke about fear and the courage that was needed to approach and challenge the government. Others felt that the administrative processes – application forms and assessments – were the biggest barriers that had prevented themselves and others from accessing what they were entitled to in the past. Several described how that stigma and culture attitudes towards the benefits system and those who claimed benefits were the biggest barriers.
However, there were many participants who said that there was not one single barrier that they had experienced most above all others. Instead, these participants suggested that there was a combination of barriers which had stopped or delayed them from accessing what they supposed to. These factors 'piled on top' of each other. It was felt that Social Security Scotland needed to address a range of different barriers at the same time to help people claim what they were entitled to.
"There are moments where it all piles on top of you. It's not a single thing but it's the fact that you have multiple factors. It feels like something else comes to shut you down when you've gone through a barrier."
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