About the respondents
This section of the report summarises who responded to the 'About Your Benefits and You' research. This shows that a wide range of people with benefit experience have participated including groups which are sometimes under represented e.g. people with hearing loss or mental health conditions.
As such this section should be seens as a summary of who has been able to particapte in the 'About Your Benefits and You' survey from the Experience Panels, rather than a summary of how representative the panels are in a statistical sense.
The aim of the panels is to gain the experience of different types of people to inform the deisgn of the benefits system in Scotland and to do this is a way which involves as many people as possible.
Age and gender
64 per cent of respondents who told us their gender identified as female, 35 per cent as male. One per cent of respondents either identified in another way or stated that they preferred not to say. Information about these groups are not published due to the low number of responses.
Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents were over the age of 45. A quarter (26 per cent) were over the age of 60. Table 1 provides an overview of respondents by age and gender.
Table 1: Complete respondents by age and gender (n=1,123)*
|% Female||% Male|
|24 or under||1%||<1%|
|60 or over||15%||11%|
*The percentages given in this table represent the proportion of respondents who completed this question. Figures relating to those who identify in another way and those who preferred not to say have not been included in the table as the number of responses is too low to publish. The figures presented therefore do not represent 100% of all those who completed this question.
84 per cent of respondents live in urban areas and 16 per cent in rural areas. 13 per cent of respondents live in Glasow and 13 per cent live in Edinburgh. 7 per cent live in Fife, and 6 per cent live in the Highlands. Respondents were present from the Shetland Islands, Orkney and Eilean Siar, but with fewer than 10 respondents from each area respectively.Table 2 provides a breakdown of respondents by local authority area. A small number of respondents (less than 10) did not provide postcode information to indicate their area.
Table 2: Complete respondents by Local Authority area (n=1,140)
|Edinburgh City of||13%|
|Dumfries & Galloway||3%|
|Perth & Kinross||3%|
|Argyll & Bute||2%|
Disability and long term health conditions
81 per cent of respondents said that they had a disability or long term health condition. Half are physically disabled (50 per cent), suffer from chronic pain (50 per cent) or have another long term condition (50 per cent). Almost two in five (39 per cent) have a mental health condition. Some respondents had multiple disabilities or long term health conditions. Table 3 provides details of respondents by disability or long term health condtion.
Table 3: Complete respondents by disability or long term health condition (n=1,109)*
|A physical disability||50%|
|Chronic pain lasting at least 3 months||50%|
|Another long-term condition||50%|
|Mental health condition||39%|
|Deafness or severe hearing impairment||9%|
|Blindness or severe vision impairment||4%|
|A learning disability||5%|
|None of the above||17%|
|Prefer not to say||2%|
*The percentages given in this table represent the proportion of respondents who said that they had each of the conditions listed. Some respondents have multiple health conditions and the figures presented therefore do not add up to 100%.
Additional Support Needs
More than a fifth (22 per cent) of respondents need support getting to and from venues. One in six (16 per cent) respondents require information provided in an alternative format, including large print, easy read, in a format suitable for use with screen reader software, type talk or text message, Braille, or in another language.
Respondents were present who require a BSL interpreter, electronic note taker or palantypist, type talk/ text message, Braille, or informaiton in another language, but with fewer than 10 respondents for each respectively. Table 4 illustrates the breakdown of respondents by their additional support needs.
Table 4: Complete respondents by additional support needs (n=1,144)*
|% all respondents|
|No reported additional support needs||65%|
|Support getting to and from venues/ support in a venue||22%|
|Support to complete things over the phone or in person||6%|
|Suitable for use with screen reader software||2%|
|Electronic Notetaker or Palantypist||1%|
|Type talk/ text messaging||<1%|
|Information in another language||<1%|
*The percentages given in this table represent the proportion of respondents who said that they had each of the additional support needs listed. Some respondents have support needs and the figures presented therefore do not add up to 100%.
49 per cent of respondents said that they having caring responsibilites and 49 per cent said they do not. The remaining respondents who answered this question stated that they prefered not to say. Three quarters (75 per cent) of those who have caring responsibilities and told us how many hours per week they spent caring, said that they cared for an adult or adults with long-term physical/ mental ill health or a disability. A third (33 per cent) care for an adult or adults who need support due to old age. 22 per cent care for a child or children with long-term physical/ mental ill health or a disability.
More than half of respondents who have caring responsibilities who and who told us about the person that they cared for said that they cared for someone with a physical disability (52 per cent) or another long-term condition (57 per cent). Almost half care for someone with a mental health condition (48 per cent) and more than a third care for someone with chronic pain (37 per cent). A third (33 per cent) care for someone with a learning disability. More than one in ten cares for someone who is deaf or has a severe hearing impairment (14 per cent) or someone who is blind or has a severe vision impairment (11 per cent).
Almost half (47 per cent) of respondents who told us how long they spend per week caring for someone said they spent more than 35 hours per week. Table 5 shows a breakdown of the amount of time respondents spent caring per week.
Table 5: Respondents with caring responsibilities by time spent caring (n=550)
|Hours spent providing help or support per week||% respondents who have a caring responsibility|
|Up to 4||9%|
|5 to 19||14%|
|20 to 34||7%|
|35 to 49||11%|
|50 or more||36%|
It is also worth noting that among those who stated that they had caring responsibilities, 72 per cent said they were disabled or had a long term health condition themselves.
Experience of benefits
Respondents include those who are currently, or have previously, applied, received, challenged or appealed a decision for one of the relevant benefits, including those who have helped someone else. Almost all (96 per cent) respondents are getting, or have previously received a benefit. A quarter have experience of challenging (24 per cent) or appealing (25 per cent) a decision relating to their benefits. The majority of respondents have either current (eight per cent) or both current and past experience (84 per cent) of the benefits system. Seven per cent of respondents only have past experience of the benefits system.
The majority of respondents to the survey have experience of Disability Living Allowance ( DLA) (68 per cent) or Personal Independence Payments ( PIP) (65 per cent). Many respondents have experience of multiple benefits. Table 6 illustrates the number of respondents by benefit type.
Information about respondent experiences by benefit type will be published separately, however, it is important to note that the survey asked respondents about their experience as a whole, and did not go into detail about experiences of individual benefits. Some information relating to experiences of individual benefits is available from the qualitative responses to open-ended questions. Analysis of the qualitative data will be published as part of the full research report.
Table 6: Respondents by benefit type (n=1,144)*
|Disability Living Allowance||68%|
|Personal Independence Payments||65%|
|Winter Fuel Payments||28%|
|Cold Weather Payments||26%|
|Discretionary Housing Payments||24%|
|Severe Disablement Allowance||17%|
|Scottish Welfare Fund||16%|
|Funeral Expenses Allowance||8%|
|Sure Start Maternity Grant||7%|
|Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit||6%|
*The percentages given in this table represent the proportion of respondents who said that they had experience of each of the benefits. Some respondents have experience of multiple benefits therefore the figures reported do not add up to 100%.