Part 2: Consultation On Draft Regulations Establishing A Chamber Of The First-Tier Tribunal For Scotland Dealing With Entitlement To Social Security And Setting Out Its Functions
19. Section 20 of the 2014 Act gives power for the Scottish Ministers to make regulations providing for the organisation of the FtT into chambers, and setting out how the functions of the FtT are to be allocated between those chambers.
20. The draft regulations in Annex A provide for the establishment of a new chamber of the FtT, to be known as the Social Security Chamber. They also set out what the functions of that chamber will be.
21. The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Social Security Chamber will have responsibility for dealing with appeals against determinations relating to entitlement to assistance delivered under the Scottish social security system. This will include determinations involving the making of deductions from the levels of assistance payable in order to recover overpayments. It may also include determinations on entitlement to top-up by recipients of reserved benefits, should regulations be made under section 45 of the Social Security (Scotland) Bill to provide for top-up (Top- up is essentially a mechanism by which the Scottish Ministers will be able to provide assistance to a person who is receiving, or is entitled to receive, a reserved benefit. This will be paid where it is concluded that the person is in need of assistance, over and above any reserved benefit paid, but to fulfil the same purpose as the reserved benefit. Depending on the terms of regulations made, if assistance by way of top-up is to be introduced, it may carry a right of appeal).
22. The regulations make clear that the Social Security Chamber will have power to look at all aspects of a determination in relation to which an appeal is brought, and not only the particular aspects which are challenged by the individual bringing the appeal. “Dealing with” an appeal will, in general, mean reaching a decision which disposes of it, unless the conclusion is drawn that the proceedings should be transferred away from the Social Security Chamber. In disposing of an appeal the Chamber may either uphold the determination which is appealed against, or make its own determination of the individual’s entitlement to the type of assistance in question.
Do you have any comments on the description of functions exercisable by the Social Security Chamber in considering entitlement to assistance under the Scottish social security system?
Do you have any comments on the power of the Social Security Chamber to consider all aspects of a determination which it is called upon to review?
Do you have any other comments you wish to make on the draft regulations?