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Celebrating Dignity Action Day

Dignity Action Day aims to ensure people who use care services are treated as individuals and are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives.

People who access our benefits could be care service users, and we are committed to making sure that we give people choice and control over the way they interact with our service.

Our service has been designed with the key principles of dignity, fairness and respect at its heart.

The Scottish Government included a commitment to inclusive communications when establishing the Social Security (Scotland) Act in 2018. That is why, for example, we support people to apply for social security in the way that suits them best – whether that’s online, by post, phone, or in person through our local delivery service.

Our local delivery service offers face-to-face support for clients in their local community, through booking in-person meetings with an adviser at home, at a local delivery location near their home or on either phone or video calls.

If disabled people need additional help to apply for our benefits, the free and Independent Advocacy Service, provided by VoiceAbility, helps people throughout the whole of the process; from the point of application, through to any request for redetermination and appeal.

We have also made significant changes to the application and decision-making processes for our new disability benefits, which include Adult Disability Payment and Child Disability Payment. We have designed a service which has people’s needs at its heart, making it a more positive experience and as straight forward as possible when applying for the benefits to which people are entitled.

We start from a position of trust with our clients and reduce the need for them to share their experience more than once.

If people do not have supporting information to hand, and ask us to, we will collect this on their behalf, which is a key difference to DWP. Where it is the only practicable way to make a decision about an Adult Disability Payment application, people are invited to a consultation with one of our in-house health and social care professionals. These are always conversation-based, and we ensure that practitioners have an appropriate background, relevant to the individual’s needs, enabling discussions which are positive and respectful.

Jennifer Aitchison, Delivery Manager Adviser said:

“Being part of Social Security Scotland and helping to deliver Adult Disability Payment means I am helping to make the process of applying for benefits more humane, friendly and inclusive. I have supported my mum, who is disabled, through the process of applying so I what a difference it will make to deliver the changes we are delivering today.”

The values of dignity, fairness and respect also apply to how we treat our staff, offering a positive and flexible working culture to allow our staff to balance their other commitments.

Social Security Scotland was recently awarded the Carer Positive Exemplary award from Carers Scotland, recognising our commitment to the wellbeing of employees to embed a culture of support for colleagues who are also carers by providing them with a space to meet and speak with other carers and provide support for them to manage their work/life balance.

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