Social security advocacy service standards

Closed 7 Oct 2019

Opened 11 Jul 2019

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Section 10 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 requires Scottish
Ministers to ensure that independent advocacy services are available to
support disabled people who because of their disability, need an
advocacy worker’s help to make a claim to Social Security Scotland. In
this context advocacy services are independent if they are provided by a
person other than the Scottish Ministers.

Section 11 of the Act also requires Scottish Ministers to set service
standards. The standards will ensure that advocacy support is provided
to a consistently high quality across Scotland. These standards will need
to be met, or be worked towards, as part of any agreement for advocacy
services entered into by Scottish Ministers. The Scottish Government is
now consulting on draft social security advocacy service standards.
Such advocacy support will provide disabled people with the assistance
they may need to help them claim their Scottish social security
entitlements and ensure that they can be fully involved in decisions
affecting them. This is a key part of delivering our system based on
dignity, fairness and respect.

Why We Are Consulting

The purpose of this consultation is to gather views on the draft social
security advocacy service standards.

We would like to obtain views from a range of organisations and
individuals. It would be particularly useful to get the views of existing
advocacy users, who may have used advocacy support for benefit
claims or other type of service, to ensure we have identified those
standards which will deliver a high quality, inclusive and consistently
delivered service.

In addition to asking questions about the draft standards we are also
asking for views on the potential impacts of the standards on different
groups and also on businesses.

Read the consultation paper.

Download an Easy Read version.

What Happens Next

The responses to the consultation will be analysed and considered
before the standards are finalised. Regulations publishing the service
standards would then be laid in the Scottish Parliament around October
before coming into force around winter 2019.

The Scottish Government plans to run a procurement process over the
autumn for the delivery of advocacy services. The intention is to have
funding awarded in sufficient time for services to recruit staff and
prepare for delivering social security advocacy support by summer 2020.


  • Equality, Welfare and Rights