Social Security Experience Panels: benefit take-up – visual summary

Visual summary of findings from research with Social Security Experience Panels members about their experiences of accessing the benefit system.

This document is part of a collection

Ways for Social Security Scotland to challenge stigma

We asked participants about how they would want Social Security Scotland to challenge stigma.

Many talked about telling positive stories about the impact of benefits. They wanted case studies to show how benefits are essential to support normal people’s lives.

Some felt stories could help address negative perceptions of people who claimed benefits. These participants suggested using stories to challenge stereotypes around hidden disabilities and the level of benefit fraud.

“I like little stories that charities do about hidden disabilities. I think positive stories are really important and just making people aware about how bad some people’s situations are.”

Others wanted stories about how benefits were enablers. They called for positive stories about how benefits allowed vulnerable people to support their own business or contribute to the local economy.

“We need messages that benefits are enablers. They enable people to contribute financially, or spend money that supports local businesses.”

Other participants thought that Social Security Scotland could use case studies of more high profile figures who had used the benefits system.

“If there are higher profile people or celebrities mobilising positive stories about the benefits system it would be more effective. Mental health is an example of this as there are more people being more open about it. It should be normalised.”

Participants said it was important to educate people about the benefits system. They wanted the public to have a better understanding about disabled people. Several said they wanted the public to know how the system was funded.

“The reality of living on benefits, not these contrived shows, should be taught to every child in school. The reality of living on benefits is completely different.”



Back to top