Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has visited the new Social Security Scotland headquarters in Dundee in her capacity as a member of the Social Security Committee in the Scottish Parliament.
The SNP representative described the work the team there is doing in redesigning adult disability benefits in Scotland as “revolutionary”.
“I’m on PIP, and I’ve been through their face-to-face assessments with Atos. I know just how traumatising many find the PIP system. So, it was a really emotional experience for me to hear from the Social Security Scotland team just how differently Adult Disability Payment claimants in Scotland will be treated going forward now that the Scottish Government has taken over administering the benefit.
“The commitment not to contract out assessments to private companies and the fact that face-to-face assessments will only be carried out if necessary make a massive change on their own, but there’s so much more to the new approach.
“Anyone who has ever done work supporting people to apply for PIP knows that you basically need guidance sheets the size of the form itself to make sure people are putting in all the information they need. With Adult Disability Payment, the prompts are all there, bult-in to the application, making it all-round a far more accessible process that is designed to actively help disabled people rather than judge us.
“I am so proud that Scotland is taking this revolutionary approach to disability benefits and I cannot wait for the case transfer to be complete. This new Scottish approach starts from a position of trust rather than suspicion, and provides real support throughout instead of gatekeeping. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to describe it as life-changing, especially for those with mental health issues or chronic health conditions, and I look forward to scrutinising the process further once it rolls out across the country.”