The research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, in partnership with third sector organisations, emphasised the importance of dignity.
Research by the Joseph Rowntree foundation, in partnership with Glasgow Disability Alliance, Inclusion Scotland and Dundee Fighting for Fairness, has shown how the Scottish social security system can work better for disabled people, including by reducing poverty. The researchers found that although the dignity-based approach taken by the Scottish Government and Scottish Social Security is considered welcome, there are fears that delivery may not live up to that principle.
The Scottish Parliament is gradually assuming more responsibility for social security, and will be launching a range of disability assistance related entitlements over the coming years. These include the Adult Disability Payment (ADP), which will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP). It is expected that ADP will initially follow similar eligibility criteria and levels of payment as the existing entitlements, though with a more rights based approach to assessment.
Amongst the key findings and recommendation in the search are:
- The government should recognise the level of distrust disabled people have with the social security system, and strongly emphasise their commitment to delivering entitlements through a system with dignity at its core.
- Raise public awareness of entitlement to disability assistance entitlements, as lack of awareness is contributing to stigma which discourages applications.
- Incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD) into devolved law.
- Ensure meaningful scrutiny by disabled people and organisations of disability assistance benefits.
- Provide sufficient funding to third sector and support organisations providing advice and advocacy.
- Work with other agencies to provide a one-stop shop for disabled people to access all entitlements.
- Bring forward a review of disability assistance with a specific view to ensuring adequacy of payments and that they reflect the real cost of living.