Social Security Experience Panels: change of circumstances and debt repayment - visual summary

This visual summary summarises the results from 10 focus groups and an online survey with Experience Panel members. The research explored how contact about changes of circumstances should work for clients of Social Security Scotland, along with how debt should be repaid.

This document is part of a collection

Minimising stress

Many focus group participants said that language about change of circumstances could create stress for clients. They felt that clients could be supported more when they were contacted.

"Definitely think about the language. Not aggressive when on the phone. My husband went into hospital because of the stress from the phone calls."

"Reassure the client that it isn't their fault – use standard language with no jargon."

Some thought that steps could be taken to offer more reassurance to clients when they were contacted about changes of circumstances.

"You should reassure the client. It's important that agency shows that they actually care."

Others thought that trust could be built up by having regular and friendly contact with the same member of staff. This would reduce the likelihood of clients panicking when they received any information.

"Have the same person that deals with you. Build up that trust and a relationship."

Others said reporting changes of circumstances was often linked to the hardships and the uncertainties in clients' lives.

"You need to understand the implications for people around reporting changes of circumstances. Sometimes it might be worth asking if you are ok for food, electricity, or other kinds of things."

Some said that more chances for clients to work together with Social Security Scotland would help to remove stress.

They liked the idea of being able to agree actions with Social Security Scotland. Several said that they would like to be able to agree when they would next be contacted about possible changes of circumstances.



Back to top