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Engagement on social security

We are creating opportunities for people across the country to get involved in the design and operation of Scotland's new social security system.

Independent advocacy standards focus groups 

We are required by law to make advocacy support available to people with a disability who need help with the Scottish social security system, as well as to set out independent standards for advocacy service providers. We are currently looking for people with lived experience as independent advocacy service users and providers to take part in focus groups across Scotland to share their views, as part of a social security consultation.   

The focus groups will take place between 30 October and 22 November in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Dumfries.

Register to take part.

Consultation on social security

We ran a 13-week consultation on social security in Scotland from 29 July to 30 October 2016 to gather views on how we should take forward our new social security powers.

The consultation received 521 responses.

Stakeholder reference groups

We have established several groups with our stakeholders to help advise Ministers on the development of Scotland's new social security system. The groups are as follows:

See the relationships between these groups: social security stakeholder groups: diagram

Experience panels

In spring 2017 we outlined plans to have people with direct personal experience of the current benefits system help to decide how benefits are delivered in Scotland's new social security system.

More than 2,400 volunteers from across Scotland signed up to work with us as part of the experience panels.

We will continue to take expressions of interest and will re-contact individuals when recruitment reopens. If you have experience of the benefits that are being devolved to the Scottish Government, and are interested in participating in the experience panels, please get in touch (contact details at bottom of page).

Help shape the Scottish Government's support for young carers

The Scottish Government will introduce a new grant for young people aged 16-17 and 18 (who are still at school) who provide regular unpaid care to someone who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

We want to work with young adults, aged 16-25, who have experience of regularly caring, so we can design the new grant with - and for - young carers and young adult carers in Scotland.

Register to take part in the Young Carer Panel

Experience panels: research to date

Our researchers got in touch with our panel members in June 2017 to begin the 'About Your Benefits and You' research.

This helped us to understand in more detail what panel members think works well in the current system, and where there is room for improvement. Links to the reports can be found below.

Experience panels: reports and publications

We will regularly publish reports on Experience Panel activities to provide updates on our progress. Reports published so far:

Experience panels: next steps

We are using the information from 'About Your Benefits and You' to develop and undertake a programme of further work with the experience panels that will reflect what is important to our panel members. This work will be used to help design the new Social Security Scotland agency.

We are also currently working with Experience Panel members on the design of individual benefits.

Experience panels: contact

Freephone 0800 029 4974 - language line translation is available on this number.

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us via

Textphone: Prefix 18001


SMS: 07467447375

Keep up to date

Our monthly newsletter provides the latest information and updates on the social security powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament through the Scotland Act 2016. Subscribe to our newsletter (select the 'social security powers' checkbox).

For more frequent updates, follow us on Twitter: @ScotGovFairer