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09/05/19 00:01

Benefits assessment service design underway

Contract awarded to support design of social security assessments.

A contract to design Scotland’s new social security assessments system has been awarded to Deloitte.

This contract, worth £2.3m over two years, will focus on design of the assessment centre network across Scotland, including working with users to look at what major improvements on the current UK system are necessary.

Once devolved, assessments for disability assistance will be carried out by Social Security Scotland and fully supported by public sector healthcare professionals.

When this service is fully operational people will be given greater choice and flexibility over their assessments, including times and locations that suit them wherever possible, and the option of home visits for those who need them.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Nobody should doubt the stress and anxiety associated with the DWP’s current assessment process and the impact this has on people with disabilities. We are using our powers to deliver something better. 

“We have already made significant progress in identifying improvements to ensure that we deliver an assessment service that prioritises people’s welfare. I am pleased we are able to award this contract, which will help us design the service itself and improve the experience of disabled people in Scotland who need support from the benefits system.

“We have always been clear that no-one in Scotland will be forced to have a private sector assessment for disability benefits and that we will reduce the need for face-to-face assessments. This is a key part of our rights based approach, ensuring all users of our new system are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.”

Background

  • This is the second contract to be awarded to support the delivery of disability assistance. The first was awarded in November 2018 and was for the development of the client facing online application system.