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Social Security Experience Panels: Carer's Allowance Supplement - experiences

This report outlines the research on the surveys conducted with experience panel members who have experience of Carer’s Allowance, to get some feedback on their experience of Carer’s Allowance Supplement.

This document is part of a collection


How respondents felt about the letter 

Nearly all (93 per cent) said they had received a letter from Social Security Scotland about the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, with the vast majority of those (97 per cent) finding it helpful. 

Table 9: When you received the letter (or letters) how helpful or unhelpful did you find it? (n=106)

Experience of CAS letter  %
Very helpful 57
Helpful 40
Unhelpful 2
Very unhelpful 1
Total 100

Clear and Concise 

The survey asked how they felt when they received the letter. One recurring theme in the response to this question was that the letters were clear and concise. Respondents stated that the letter used plain English and explained very well what respondents should expect and when.

“It was great to know it wouldn’t affect my other benefits. Letter was clear and easy to understand”

“Easy to understand. No fancy words that some people might not understand”

Respondents described the letter to be straightforward and many respondents felt the letter was informative. 

“Felt like I was kept well informed and took away any confusion about if you need to apply”

“Format of letter was clear and friendly, easy to understand and contact details openly available if required”

Respondents stated how they appreciated how simple the letter and  payment was as there was no need to apply for this.

“Very easy, didn’t have to apply which is a bonus”

A small number of respondents felt that the letter lacked clear information, especially on the precise dates the supplement would be paid into the account. 

“It could have arrived earlier. It appeared a bit like an afterthought. People in receipt of benefits need to know on what day it’s going to be available, not during which month. So it could have been more precise”.

“Not clear and the letter came in long after the payment was made”.

Being valued and appreciated

A number of respondents described feeling valued and appreciated by the Scottish Government for the work they do, when they received the letter. They felt that carers were finally being recognised for all the hard work they do daily. Some said that the letter came as a nice surprise and made them feel emotional due to finally being valued. 

“Happy someone is taking notice of the work carers do”

“A weight had been lifted of my shoulders”

Worded in a caring way

The way the letter was written made a few respondents proud, as the format and branding of the letter took into account the opinions of Experience Panel members and made them feel appreciated. 

“The letter was rewarding to me as an experience panel participant. It used the colours and logo of images that I helped to select and also approve once decided”

“I was also so proud to have played any small part in enabling the change that we need to see here. Concrete evidence that we are better making our own decisions and are prepared to work together for these results”

“In the end it is only being fair to ask the people themselves about how things could be better. All of this is placed in the stripline for Scottish Social Security, summed up so well. 

Respondents described the letters as ‘friendly’ and made them feel as though this letter was ‘given with compassion, dignity, fairness and respect’. 

“Letter was informative and a caring feel to the way it was worded”

“I particularly liked that it thanked carers for the contribution they make in Scotland”

“The tone of the letter made me feel valued”

Contact

Email: socialsecurity@gov.scot

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