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. Panel members are people from across Scotland who have experience of claiming at least one of the benefits that are coming to Scotland. Over 2,400 registered as panel members when Experience Panels were launched in 2017.
The Scottish Government is working with Experience Panel members to design a new social security system that works for the people of Scotland.
In August and September 2019, the Scottish Government carried out focus groups with Experience Panel members to find out their views about a new form of assistance, called Short-term assistance. It is available when a decision by Social Security Scotland reduces or stops someone’s benefit. If the client wants to challenge that decision, they can apply for Short-term assistance for the duration of the redetermination and appeal period. The focus groups looked at how Social Security Scotland can help make people aware of Short-term assistance and how to receive it.