People with disabilities will benefit from a new independent advocacy service which will support access to Scotland’s social security services, backed by a £20.4 million SNP Government investment over the next four years.
The programme, unique to the UK and independent of the SNP Government and Social Security Scotland, will offer advocacy support to disabled people to help them access Scottish social security benefits.
These include current and future disability benefits such as Child Disability Payment, Adult Disability Payment and Pension Age Disability Payment.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Having this independent service for anyone who is disabled and can do with some help navigating Scotland’s social security services will be really positive.
“This assistance will be person-centred and advocates will provide the most appropriate form of support to each individual based on their circumstances.
“It builds on our human rights-based approach and makes social security more accessible, ensuring your voice is heard.”
VoiceAbility, a charity with 40 years’ experience delivering advocacy services, has been awarded the contract to provide the service.
As Scottish Ministers were still required by the 2018 Act to provide an independent advocacy service, an interim service was put in place in order to meet any demand for advocacy. The interim service launched on 30 June 2020 will remain in place to meet any demand ahead of the comprehensive service launching early next year.