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 to ask Experience Panel members their experiences and views on gathering supporting information for benefit applications. It used open and closed questions to gather views on:
- what supporting information applicants could supply to Social Security Scotland and what information they deem to be most useful in demonstrating their health condition;
- what supporting information Social Security Scotland could gather on behalf of applicants and what information applicants would rather gather themselves; and
- communication preferences if Social Security Scotland needs to contact an applicant to request more supporting information.
This report details the findings and key themes that emerged from this survey with Experience Panel members.
Respondents were recruited from the Scottish Government Experience Panels. All Experience Panel members who have told us they have experience of relevant disability benefits were invited to take part in the survey.
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.
Demographic information for the Experience Panel members who took part 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'.