The invitations, issued by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), are being sent from today (Thursday) to 18,000 people who have recent or current experience of the system. Each will receive a registration form, issued on behalf of the Scottish Government which contains information on the Experience Panels.
The letters will arrive in white envelopes rather than the standard brown envelopes used for DWP correspondence.
Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said: “Key to the design of Scotland’s new social security system is working alongside people who have the direct and personal experience and knowledge of the current one, and finding out from them what works, what needs improved and what our new system can do to support them.
“Last year we held a very successful consultation with the people of Scotland, who told us what they wanted and expected of a social security system with fairness, dignity and respect at its heart. I want to continue that conversation - and one way to do that is by inviting people to take part in our Experience Panels so that, together, we can build a system fit for Scotland’s people and best suited to our needs.
“I want to be clear that this invitation is from the Scottish Government and responses will come direct to us not the DWP.
“I completely understand that, for many people, letters from the DWP are viewed as bad news. We do not want that. Which is why we have ensured our invitations are in white envelopes so they stand out from the usual correspondence of the DWP. I hope people will take the time to look at our invitation to join our experience panels and will take the opportunity to join with us and be part of building Scotland’s social security system.”