Social Security experience panels: decision making and reviewing an award - main report

Outlines the Social Security experience panel's views expressed in a survey and focus groups on decision making for disability benefit applications.

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Background and research methods

The Scottish Government is becoming responsible for some of the benefits currently delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions. As part of the work to prepare for this change, the Scottish Government set up the Social Security Experience Panels. Over 2,400 people from across Scotland who have recent experience of at least one of the benefits coming to Scotland have registered as Experience Panel members. The Scottish Government is working with Experience Panel members to design a new social security system that works for the people of Scotland, based on the principles of dignity, fairness and respect.

In this research project, we used a survey and focus groups to ask Experience Panel members their thoughts on the following:

  • how Social Security Scotland can best communicate decisions which are made on benefit applications; and
  • what happens when a benefit award is reviewed.

Participants were recruited from the Scottish Government Experience Panels. All Experience Panel members who have told us they have experience of disability benefits were invited to take part in the survey and focus groups.[1]

The Social Security Experience Panels are a longitudinal research project. The panels are made up of volunteers from the Scottish population who have relevant experience. The results of this work should be regarded as being reflective of the experience and views of the participants only, and are not indicative of the views of a wider Scottish population. Percentages are given only to show a broad sense of the balance of opinion across participants. Throughout this report, survey respondents are referred to as 'respondents' and focus group participants are referred to as 'participants.'

Demographic information for the Experience Panel members who took part in this survey is not available for this project. More detailed demographic information on the Experience Panels as a whole can be found in 'Social Security Experience Panels: Who is in the panels and their experiences so far'.[2]



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