The Social Security (Residence Requirements) (Ukraine) (Scotland) Regulations 2022: scrutiny report
The Scottish Commission on Social Security's scrutiny report on the Social Security (Residence Requirements) (Ukraine) (Scotland) Regulations 2022
- Document Cover
- Summary of Recommendations and Observations
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Delivery, partners and co-ordination
- 3. Raising awareness
- 4. Monitoring: challenges and implications
- 5. Opening up access and advancing equality and non-discrimination
- 6. Take up
- Annex 1 – Overview of support schemes
- Annex 2 – Approach to Scrutiny
3. Raising awareness
3.1 Devolved benefits
Social Security Scotland officials noted that local delivery officers are “well engaged with hubs and local authorities housing refugees”. They have temporarily redeployed staff to support resettlement, made local delivery teams available to assist applications and ensured key factsheets are available in Ukrainian and Russian. However from information received from stakeholders it seems the priority focus for hubs has been to convey information from DWP on accessing reserved Universal Credit. While this may be understandable, it is clearly important that Social Security Scotland ensures the support provided by devolved benefits receives due attention alongside. There were indications that the majority of displaced people were aware of the support they could get through Universal Credit and a growing number are becoming more aware of devolved benefits and their possible eligibility. This will be important to monitor going forward.
Recommendation 3: Social Security Scotland is invited to set out how it intends to monitor its ability to get information to displaced people on devolved benefits so that they can get access them quickly.
3.2 Social Security Charter
A key goal of the Social Security Charter is to help ensure that the way in which devolved social security is delivered is appropriate to the needs of those who apply for it (see also principles (g) and (i)). That being so, we pointed out in our report on the regulations concerning people from Afghanistan, certain Charter expectations are likely to be particularly relevant to displaced people.
It is thus important that people are made aware, not just of their rights to devolved assistance but also the expectations in the Charter concerning how it will be delivered, and what they can do if those expectations are not met. Among others, Charter expectations include part 3:2 “encourage you to provide feedback, explain how you can complain and do everything we can to make things right.” Clearly displaced people need to know how to do that.
Whilst there remains a wider question on the level of awareness about the Charter more generally it is reasonable to assume that the majority of displaced people previously resident in Ukraine will arrive in Scotland with little knowledge of the devolved social security system, Social Security Scotland and how they can expect to be treated. This increases the priority Social Security Scotland should place on sharing this information with displaced people previously resident in Ukraine.
Recommendation 4: Social Security Scotland is invited to share details of action taken to ensure displaced people previously resident in Ukraine are made aware of relevant Charter expectations and how to raise concerns if Charter expectations are not being met.
 For example, Social Security Scotland’s local delivery service factsheet is available in Ukrainian and Russian. Social Security Scotland
 151121-Residence-Requirements-Afghanistan-Regulations-Report-FINAL.pdf (socialsecuritycommission.scot)