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Social Security Experience Panels

The Scottish Government is currently designing a social security system ahead of powers being devolved over eleven benefits and wants people with direct or current personal experience of the current system to help design the new one.

They already have over 1500 volunteers signed up to participate but need more, especially those with experience of the Funeral Expenses Payment.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written the following letter, she wants to encourage more people to sign-up to the social security Experience Panels before registration closes on 12 May and be a part of a transformational change in the delivery of social security.

Message on behalf of the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon

“The creation of Scotland’s new social security system is one of the Scottish Government’s biggest projects – and one of the most exciting.

We’re doing things differently and shaping a fair system built on the knowledge and direct personal experience of those who are using, or have recently used, the current benefits system.

We want at least 2000 people to join our Social Security Experience Panels – and we want you to help and guide us as on that journey.

We’ll soon have new powers over eleven benefits which pay out £2.8 billion a year to 1.4 million people, including you. And you will be at the heart of this system.

I know many feel the current system is hard to navigate or has treated them badly with people feeling stressed and anxious instead of supported – but we will treat people with dignity and respect.

We want to have honest conversations and find out what you need and want so we design a system that takes all of that into account.

We need to know what would help you apply for the support you’re entitled to? How can forms and guidance be improved and simplified?  Is there something we can offer that the current system doesn’t?

This is a transformational change in the delivery of social security and you could be part of something that will change the lives of many others.

So, if you think you can help and want to make a difference then please get in touch.

You can register your interest online or Freephone 0800 029 4974.

The closing date to register for the Experience Panels is 12 May, and they will begin this summer.


Yours for Scotland,

Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister”



On 14th November 2016 Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau attended a Public Services Event which was organized by Renfrewshire Polish Association- RenPA. Our stall was in high demand which reinforced to us the need for advice services across ethnic communities. Our three advisers on the day were Angela Mather, Kasia Halicka and Kasia Puslecka.



Brexit – how it affects you

The UK public has voted to leave the EU. This means it’s likely that some laws will change in the future – but not immediately.

Everything will stay the same until new laws are made.

If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK, your rights to live, work or get benefits won’t change unless the government passes new laws.

If you’re a UK citizen living in the EU or travelling to the EU, your rights won’t change yet either.

You don’t need to take any action now. Changes to the law will be announced before they happen, so you’ll have time to prepare if you’re affected.

If you think you’ve been discriminated against since the referendum, for example if you’ve been unfairly refused work or housing, or told your rights have changed, you should contact your nearest Citizens Advice.




July was Scams Awareness month and on Thursday 21st July 2016, we had a staffed stall available at Morrisons Supermarket (Paisley). We were able to provide many of you with helpful information about not only scams awareness, but also about what we can help with here at the bureau.


It has come to our attention that local residents have been receiving cold calls. The callers are offering to help clear debts claiming to be calling from Citizens Advice. Please be aware that we never cold call anyone and would never ask for personal information such as your bank details over the telephone.

If you receive a call like this please end the call and report it.
Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040
Citizens Advice Consumer Service: 03454 04 05 06