Social Security Experience Panels: overpayments

This report outlines the Social Security Experience Panels views expressed in a survey about overpayments.

This document is part of a collection

About the research 

This report details the findings from the Overpayments survey which took place in October 2018. The research was carried out through a survey that was available to complete online, on paper and over the phone. The majority of participants chose to complete the survey online.

All Experience Panels members were invited to complete the survey. Participation in Experience Panels research is optional, and in this case 141 people chose to complete the survey (a response rate of 6 per cent).

The Social Security Experience Panels are a longitudinal research project. The panels are made up of volunteers from the Scottish population who have experience of at least one of the benefits that will be devolved to Scotland. 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 wider Scottish population. The number of responses for the survey was small and this should be kept in mind when considering the results. Percentages are given only to give a broad sense of the balance of opinion across participants.

About the participants

This information was added to information from the ‘About Your Benefits and You’ (Scottish Government, 2017[1]) and ‘Social Security Experience Panels: Who is in the panels and their experiences so far’ (Scottish Government, 2018[2]) surveys. The demographic data collected in these surveys was linked to the information supplied by participants of this survey as part of the longitudinal data set for this project.

Not all responses were linked in this way. This was due to missing or unclear information from the survey responses or participants not having previously supplied us with the relevant demographic information. 

Around six in ten participants identified as ‘woman or girl’ (65 per cent) and a third (33 per cent) of participants identified as ‘man or boy.’

Table 1: Gender of survey participants (n=93) 

Male 33
Female 65
Prefer not to say  2
Total  100

Around eight in ten of participants were aged 45 or over (83 per cent) with just over one in ten aged between 25 and 44 (16 per cent.) 

Table 2: Age of survey participants (n=94)

Age group %
Under 25 0
25-44 16
45-59 44
60-79  39
80 or over  0
Prefer not to say 
Total  100

Just over eight in ten participants had a disability or long term health condition. 

Table 3: Disability status of participants (n=94) 

Disabled 83
Not disabled 17
Total  100

Around half of participants cared for a family member or friend (49 per cent.)

Table 4: Caring status of participants (n=91)

Carer 49
Not a carer 47
Prefer not to say  4
Total  100

Participants had a wide range of experience claiming different benefit types. Amongst survey participants, the most common benefits claimed were Personal Independence Payment (69 per cent) and Disability Living Allowance (66 per cent.) The least common benefits claimed were Funeral Expenses (11 per cent) and Sure Start Maternity Grant (7 per cent.) 

Table 5: Participants benefit experience (n=92)

Benefit %
Personal Independence Payment 69
Disability Living Allowance 66
Carers Allowance  44
Cold Weather Payment  37
Winter Fuel Payment  34
Discretionary Housing Payment 23
Universal Credit 23
Scottish Welfare Fund 21
Attendance Allowance 20
Severe Disablement Allowance 17
Funeral Expenses 11
Sure Start Maternity Grant 7

Participants came from twenty-seven of the thirty-two local authorities, with the majority living in an urban area[3] (80 per cent). 

Table 6: Location of survey participants  (n=94) 

Urban 80
Rural  20
Total  100

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 (Scottish Government, 2018[4]).



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