Publication - Research and analysis

Social Security experience panels: gathering supporting information - main report

Outlines the Social Security experience panel's views expressed in a survey on gathering supporting information for disability benefit applications.

17 page PDF

367.6 kB

17 page PDF

367.6 kB

Contents
Social Security experience panels: gathering supporting information - main report
Summary

17 page PDF

367.6 kB

Summary

Respondents were asked what supporting information they could supply to Social Security Scotland that would tell the agency about their health condition. The most common responses were a list of medicines (93 per cent) and a letter from a doctor or consultant (84 per cent). Just under half of respondents said they could provide a statement from their carer (46 per cent) and just under one third said they could provide a letter from their support worker (31 per cent). A report from a social worker, or letter from a school or other educational establishment were the least common options for the types of supporting information respondents could supply. A range of other types of information were also suggested.

Some respondents explained that they would struggle to provide supporting information to Social Security Scotland because they have a lifelong, untreatable, fluctuating or rare condition; are not taking medication; or are not regularly seeing a medical professional.

Respondents were asked if there were any pieces of supporting information they would expect Social Security Scotland to already have access to. The most common reply was that respondents thought that Social Security Scotland should already have access to their medical records or history, including GP records. Some respondents said that they would expect Social Security Scotland to have access to previous benefit applications, supporting information and/or assessments.

Respondents were also asked what supporting information they thought would be most useful for Social Security Scotland in demonstrating that they were eligible for a benefit. The vast majority of respondents said that they thought that a letter from a doctor, consultant or medical professional, or medical records and/or reports would be the most useful supporting information. Some respondents felt that a personal statement or a statement from a carer or family member would be most useful.

Those respondents who said that they would be able to supply a social work report were asked how useful they think the report would be for a Social Security Scotland case manager making a decision on an application. Overall, over seven in ten respondents (74 per cent) said that they thought that a social work report would be useful.

Respondents were asked what supporting information Social Security Scotland could gather on their behalf. Most responses reflected the wide range of supporting information outlined in the discussion above. A small number of respondents raised concerns about privacy and sharing of personal information, consent and the accuracy of the information gathered on their behalf. A few said they would rather gather information themselves.

Nearly half of respondents (44 per cent) thought it should take about four weeks for Social Security Scotland to gather supporting information on behalf of applicants. One quarter (25 per cent) thought it should take two weeks. 14 per cent thought it should take longer than four weeks and less than one in ten respondents thought it should take about three weeks (nine per cent). Only six per cent of respondents thought it should take about a week and three per cent said less than a week.

Respondents were asked how they would prefer Social Security Scotland to contact them to request more supporting information. The most popular options were by post (37 per cent) and email (31 per cent). Just under two in ten respondents selected phone (18 per cent), and only six per cent selected text.

Over eight in ten respondents (82 per cent) said that they would like advance notice before Social Security Scotland called them to request additional information.

Around one quarter of respondents (24 per cent) would like one days notice that Social Security Scotland would call them. Five days (18 per cent) or more than a week's notice (20 per cent) were also popular with around one fifth of respondents each. A few hours' notice (three per cent) and four days' notice (one per cent) were the least popular options. Overall, around half of respondents (52 per cent) said they would like notice of three days or less, and half (49 per cent) said four days or more.

Over eight in ten respondents (84 per cent) said that they would like advance notice of the questions they would be asked by the Social Security Scotland case manager who called them.


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Email: socialresearch@gov.scot