More than 2,000 people recruited to benefits experience panel

jeane-freeman-blogThousands of people with direct personal experience of the current benefits system have signed up to help shape the delivery of benefits in Scotland’s new social security system.

As recruitment comes to a close, the latest volunteer figures for the Experience Panels stand at 2,335 – far in excess of the minimum 2,000 initially sought after, and applications will still be accepted over the next few weeks.

The panels are made up of people from all areas of the country who will help to build and refine a model for Scotland.

Social security minister Jeane Freeman said: “The response to our recruitment drive has been excellent and I am grateful to everyone who has decided to join us and help shape this new system for Scotland.

“This is a golden opportunity for us to learn from the experiences of those who use the current system and their input will be vital to us for each step of the way.

“I’ve already ruled out private sector involvement in assessments and given assurances that the agency itself will have a local presence with a human face where people can go to get one-to-one support if required – it’s all part of treating people with the dignity and respect they deserve.

“I’ll be writing in the next week or so to everyone who has volunteered to work in partnership with us to personally thank them and set out the important work that the Experience Panels will take forward.”

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