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Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018

Support during discussions and assessments

86.Section 59 gives an individual the right to be accompanied by someone else to provide support during any discussion or assessment of the individual’s entitlement to assistance under Part 2. This includes any discussion with Scottish Government staff about what assistance will be available to the individual, and any sort of functional assessment the individual may be required to undertake in order to establish entitlement. Subsection (2) places the Scottish Ministers under a duty to ensure that anyone who may be discharging functions on their behalf (such as a health professional who is carrying out a functional assessment on their behalf) has to respect the individual’s right to have a supporter present. Subsection (3) makes clear that the supporter’s role extends to making representations on the supported individual’s behalf. The right to have a supporter present is qualified in cases where it would be unreasonable to accommodate the individual’s wishes. Whether someone’s wishes are unreasonable will depend on the facts and circumstances of the particular case, but it may, for example, be considered unreasonable to allow an individual to continue to attend as a supporter if that individual is behaving aggressively.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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