A new opportunity for people to get involved in shaping Scotland’s social security system has now been created with the re-opening of recruitment for members of the Social Security Experience Panels.

The panels were set up in 2017 and are made up of more than 2400 people with experience of the welfare system.

They are the key mechanism for putting users’ voices at the centre of social security to ensure a system is designed that works for those who use it.

According to Ruth Maguire MSP for Cunninghame South, experience panels are now at the mid-point of their work so recruitment has reopened.

She said: “From Social Security Scotland’s opening hours to the design of the application forms, to how staff behave, and how the organisation communicates to people about moving their benefits to Scotland, experience panel members are involved in the detail of how the Scottish government delivers a service with dignity fairness and respect.

“Panel members are routinely invited to participate in surveys, focus groups and interviews, on a range of topics either specific to particular benefits or relating to how Social Security Scotland operates as an agency.

“They are free to take part as much or as little as they like, and any expenses incurred are reimbursed.

“It is important that people remain at the heart of how we deliver social security in Scotland. It would be great to see as many people as possible from my constituency volunteer in order to broaden and deepen the government’s insights into how to design a system that works for Scotland.”

The Scottish government is looking for people with experience of the following benefits:

Personal Independence Payment

Disability Living Allowance

Attendance Allowance

Carer’s Allowance

Funeral Expenses Payment

Cold Weather Payment

Winter Fuel Payment

Industrial Injuries Disability Benefit

More information, including how to register, can be found at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/social-security-experience-panels-faqs/

People can also register over the phone or use the details below to request a paper form.

Email: SocialSecurityExperience@gov.scot .

Telephone: 0800 029 4974

Post: Freepost SOCIAL SECURITY EXPERIENCE PANELS

Textphone: Using the 18001 prefix.

SMS: 07747460357

Phone line translation is available if required. British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact

us via www.contactscotland-bsl.org.