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Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP has welcomed information received from Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security & Older People, regarding the establishment of new ‘Experience Panels’ designed to provide a new opportunity for people in Scotland to become involved in shaping Scotland’s Social Security system.

She said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to delivering a social security system which treats claimants with dignity and respect and an important part of that is ensuring that the experience people have had in the past is taken on board.

“The Social Security Experience Panels were first launched in 2017 and more than 2,400 people from across Scotland joined as volunteer Experience Panel members.  Their input has informed key decisions in the design of the Scottish social security system.

"From Social Security Scotland’s opening hours, to the design of benefit application forms, to how staff behave, and how the changes are communicated to people, the Experience Panels are the key mechanism for putting the user voice at the centre of social security, to ensure that a system is designed that works for those who use it.

“Having now reached the mid-point of the Experience Panels work, recruitment of panel members has been re-opened and I would really encourage constituents who have relevant experience of the social security system to become involved in this important work.”

* * * * *


1. Panel members are routinely invited to participate in surveys, focus groups and interviews, on a range of topics either specific to particular benefits or relating to how Social Security Scotland operates as an agency. Panel members are free to take part as much or as little as they like and any expenses they incur are reimbursed.

2. All of the Experience Panels reports to date can be found at

3. People are being sought who have experience of the following benefits:

Personal Independence Payment
Disability Living Allowance
Attendance Allowance
Carer’s Allowance
Funeral Expenses Payment
Cold Weather Payment
Winter Fuel Payment
Industrial Injuries Disability Benefit

4. More information, including how to register, can be found at 

5. People can also register over the phone or request a paper form:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 0800 029 4974
Textphone: Using the 18001 prefix.
SMS: 07747460357
Phone line translation is available if required. British Sign Language (BSL) users can make contact via

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design