A transparent approach to benefit take-up progress

New annual publication provides estimates of benefit take-up rates.

A new annual publication with estimated take-up rates of Scottish social security benefits has been published for the first time.

The report will help track progress against the Scottish Government’s Benefit Take-up Strategy which is a requirement of the 2018 Social Security (Scotland) Act.

The Scottish Government is committed to delivering a transparent social security system and reporting annually on progress will support that aim. This first publication covers estimates from introduction of the benefits up to the end of March in the 2021-2022 financial year and will sit alongside existing performance reporting on Social Security Scotland.

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said:

“We are committed to making sure everyone gets the financial support they are entitled to and our benefit take-up strategy outlines how we are doing this. We actively work to encourage take-up of Scottish social security benefits by promoting our 12 benefits, collaborating with various organisations and removing barriers to access.

“This new publication of estimated take-up rates provides us with valuable insights, and will help us to identify where we can do more. Our commitment to continuous improvement ensures we are making progress in breaking down the barriers to access, and in reducing stigma that may have previously led to people not accessing the benefits they are entitled to.

“For example, we have been working with supermarket retailers to promote Best Start Foods, we have shared over 42,000 leaflets about our five family payments and Child Disability Payment in NHS Scotland’s baby boxes, and we have included information on Scottish social security benefits in welcome packs supporting refugees.

“Our efforts to maximise incomes and support benefit take-up are even more important during the current cost of living crisis. Our new cost of living website is a trusted ‘one stop shop’ for advice and information about financial support available in Scotland, including all our Scottish benefits. I would encourage everyone to use and share this website, to make sure people are accessing the financial support they are entitled to.” 


  • View and download Take-Up Rates of Scottish Benefits: October 2022.
  • A take-up rate is the percentage of people entitled to a benefit that actually receive it. While the number of people receiving Scottish social security benefits is known through published official statistics, the number of people eligible to receive these benefits has to be estimated internally by Scottish Government analysts using a range of data sources. This means the take-up rates in this publication are estimates only.
  • Visit gov.scot/costoflivingsupport  to find out more about information on help available for households to meet rising energy, housing and other costs. The website also provides details on accessing Scottish and UK social security payments, including online benefit calculators, as well as wider health and wellbeing information.
  • View and download the second Benefit Take-up Strategy, published in October 2021, which sets out how the Scottish Government is working to ensure people can access the support they are entitled to
  • Since the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 was passed, the Scottish Government has introduced 12 benefits, seven of which are completely new forms of financial support, only available in Scotland
  • When all benefits have been introduced and clients have transferred from the Department for Work and Pensions, Social Security Scotland will support approximately 2 million children and adults – around one in three people in Scotland.


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