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Dignity, fairness and respect making a difference in North Lanarkshire

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville visited Forgewood Community Centre in Motherwell ahead of the rollout of Carer Support Payment in North Lanarkshire in June.

The Cabinet Secretary met people who get Scottish benefits and community organisations who support them including North Lanarkshire Carers Together.

She heard about their experience with Social Security Scotland and the difference our approach to delivering benefits – treating people with dignity, fairness and respect – has made to them.

They included Donna from Bellshill who helped her autistic son transfer from the Department of Work and Pension’s Disability Living Allowance to Child Disability Payment. She later helped him move to Adult Disability Payment.

She found the process straightforward and an improvement on her previous experience.

She said: “It was very straightforward for us. I loved the online part of it and the fact that with Social Security Scotland I could start it, finish it and come back to it. That’s very valuable in a house like ours. I thought it was much better than DLA. For dealing with someone with autism, the questions we were being asked and the hints and tips of what they were asking for made a lot more sense.

“Anybody I have dealt with from Social Security Scotland has been great. When I was applying for my son we had a bereavement and I had to phone up and ask for a bit more time and the people were so understanding. It wasn’t a problem.

“It’s a much better system. Scotland got it right.”

Our principles of dignity, fairness and respect are set out in Our Charter, which outlines what people should expect from the Scottish social security system and our human rights-based approach.

Our Charter was created with people who had experience of the UK benefits system and it has just been reviewed with input from people who have used Social Security Scotland and are receiving some of the 14 benefits we now deliver.

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