New bill proposed to make social security system more efficient and effective
Improving the way the Scottish system of social security delivers for people in need of support is at the heart of new legislation.
Social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the Social Security (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill will enhance the rights of Social Security Scotland clients by introducing a right to late re-determinations and appeals in exceptional circumstances and the right to withdraw a request for redetermination.
The bill will also include the right to challenge a decision that someone is liable in a situation where an overpayment has been made and continue to enhance the design of the system, maximising choice for those who use it while delivering good value for money.
It will also enable the Scottish Government to recover the cost of devolved social security benefits from compensation awards in situations where someone has had to claim payments as a result of a third party’s fault.
Social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The changes proposed by this legislation are part of our commitment to continuously improve the Scottish social security system in ways which put the needs of those who require assistance first.
“They will help make the social security system more efficient and effective, contributing to our mission to tackle poverty and protect people from harm.
“The measures it contains advance equality and non-discrimination and ensure the system is efficient and delivers value for money.”
A public consultation, titled ‘Scotland’s Social Security system: Enhanced administration and compensation recovery’ ran from 4 August to 27 October 2022 and a majority of the respondents supported the proposals.