New powers are coming to Scotland over disability benefits, and you can help shape them.
For the first time ever we will have a Scottish welfare system. The Scottish Government has pledged to introduce a Social Security Bill in the first year of this parliament. This will create a Scottish social security agency and set out the principles that it will follow. It will also look at the benefits available and how these may need to change.
The government is gathering views on what this new system should look like, to help shape the Bill. It’s so important that those of us living with MS have our voice heard. We want to help get the system right from the start
Welfare isn’t making sense
At present, too many people with MS miss out on the support they need because the system doesn’t make sense. Our recent survey revealed that over 90% of people with MS found the benefits assessment process stressful - and stress can cause deterioration in a person’s condition.
Living with a neurological condition costs a person on average an additional £200 per week. Accessing benefits can be the difference between eating and heating or not. Additionally, people face stigma for claiming benefits, leading some to not even claim what they are entitled to.
Creating a better system
We need system that is focused around the needs of the user. A system that is accessible and fair. A system that provides security, not one that creates stigma. With this new Bill we have a real opportunity to do just that. How can the system be made simpler and more accessible?
We are putting together a response to the Government’s consultation and we need your help. What is good and bad about current disability benefits? How should the assessment process be changed and improved? How can the appeals process be improved and how long should it take?
Image: © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body