Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018: progress report 2021 to 2022

Report published under Sections 20 and 87 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 to provide an annual update on the delivery of the Scottish social security system.

2. Purpose of Report

This report is published under Section 20 and Section 87 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 (the Act) which require Scottish Ministers to report annually on the performance of the Scottish social security system. The social security system is defined in the Act as the system for giving assistance to individuals in accordance with Part 2 of the Act and regulations made under Part 3 or under any other provision of an Act of the Scottish Parliament that relates to Social Security. Part 2 covers most types of assistance that can be legislated for under the 2018 Act which would be paid by Scottish Ministers and the processes for determining entitlement from application to appeal and Part 3 covers top-up assistance for those in receipt of reserved benefits, and Carer's Allowance Supplement.

Section 20 of the Act also sets out the requirements for the content of the report. It must include what has been done in the past year to meet the expectations on Scottish Ministers set out in the Charter. This report will therefore be published alongside our report on the Charter Measurement Framework which will confirm how well we are delivering against the commitments set out in the Charter and help us to improve that delivery.

The report must also contain an assessment of how the Scottish social security system has affected the circumstances of people whose finances are affected by a person in the household having a protected characteristic listed in section 4 of the Equality Act 2010 (for example age, disability).

Section 87 of the Act requires Scottish Ministers to report on the number of individuals who had the right to appeal against a Scottish social security decision and the number of individuals who exercised that right to appeal. Scottish Ministers must also indicate whether they consider that the process to determine entitlement needs to be amended.

This report also contains an update on delivery of duties in Part 1 of the Act between 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, such as in relation to the Charter, the strategy to promote take up, and work of the Scottish Commission on Social Security. Although these aspects are not required by the Act they are being provided during the implementation period to give a fuller picture of progress in delivering the new Scottish social security powers. This reporting may not be required in the longer term and will be reviewed at the appropriate time.

The report should also be read alongside the annual report published by Social Security Scotland. That report contains more of the detail on operational delivery including information on the payments made by it up to the end of March 2022. Social Security Scotland's annual report also includes its audited annual accounts and delivery of its Strategic Objectives. Both reports together provide a full picture of delivery of the system.



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