Social Security Experience Panels - panel members: full report - 2020 update

This report provides demographic information about the Social Security Experience Panels. It also summarises feedback from panel members about their experiences of being a member of the panels and how this could be improved.

Experience of benefits

New panel members

We asked new panel members about their experience of different benefits. 322 people responded in this question.[22]

Respondents include those who are currently, or have previously, applied, got, challenged or appealed a decision for one of the relevant benefits, including those who have helped someone else. It should be noted that many people on the panel have experience of more than one benefit, particularly with the transition from DLA to PIP.

Table 13: New panel members - respondents by benefit type (n=322)
Benefit Number of respondents % respondents
Disability Living Allowance 131 41%
Personal Independence Payments 231 72%
Carer’s Allowance 107 33%
Winter Fuel Payments 81 25%
Cold Weather Payments 71 22%
Discretionary Housing Payments 44 14%
Attendance Allowance 42 13%
Universal Credit 58 18%
Severe Disablement Allowance 26 8%
Scottish Welfare Fund 38 12%
Funeral Expenses Allowance 14 4%
Sure Start Maternity Grant 10 3%
Carer’s Allowance (Supplement) 68 22%
Best Start Grant 26 8%

All panel members

Across a number of different ‘About You’ surveys we have asked the Experience Panels’ membership about benefit experience.[23] Carers Allowance Supplement and Best Start Grant were added in later surveys, as these are new payments being delivered by Social Security Scotland which did not exist when the Experience Panels started in 2017.

Table 14: All panel members - respondents by benefit type (n=1,544, IIDB=1065, CAS=322, BSG=322)
Benefit Number of respondents % respondents
Disability Living Allowance 942 61%
Personal Independence Payments 1081 70%
Carers Allowance 578 37%
Winter Fuel Payments 481 31%
Cold Weather Payments 451 29%
Discretionary Housing Payments 339 22%
Attendance Allowance 274 18%
Universal Credit 309 20%
Severe Disablement Allowance 235 15%
Scottish Welfare Fund 255 16%
Funeral Expenses Allowance 124 8%
Sure Start Maternity Grant 104 7%
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit** 68 6%
Carer’s Allowance Supplement* 68 4%
Best Start Grant* 26 2%

There were some differences in the levels of benefit experience reported in 2018 and 2020. Among panel members that we hold information on about benefit experience, there was a slight descrease since 2018 in those saying they had experience of Disability Living Allowance.



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