Support highlighted during Challenge Poverty Week.
Families and friends have a crucial role to play in ensuring Scotland’s social security payments reach those who need them most.
On a visit to a Citizens Advice Bureau, as part of Challenge Poverty Week, Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson said talking about benefits would help drive take-up and reduce stigma about accessing benefits. The Scottish Government urges people to make sure they get the benefits they are entitled to.
These payments provide support to people on low incomes, people with disabilities, carers, and young people entering the workplace.
During the visit to the Citizens Advice Bureau in Muirhouse, Edinburgh, Mr Macpherson met staff and volunteers who provide information and advice about available financial assistance and wider support.
Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said:
“We are urging as many people as possible to talk to family, friends and other people they know to encourage them to apply for benefits they may be entitled to. We want people to get any support that they are eligible for.
“We know that word of mouth helps to raise awareness of Social Security Scotland’s payments, and those provided by the UK Government which may be needed to access Scottish benefits. We also want anyone who thinks they might be eligible for payments to check what’s available to them.
“While several of our payments are designed for people on low incomes there are also others which provide support to disabled people, young people starting their careers after a period of unemployment, and carers including young carers.
“Social security is a shared investment in people and supports building a fairer, more equal society. The current cost of living crisis shows that any of us could need this support at some point in our lives. That is why it is right that we invest in social security together.
“The Scottish Government is grateful for the impactful role that Citizens Advice advisers play in promoting and supporting access to social security.”
Citizens Advice Edinburgh Chief Executive Benjamin Napier said:
"The Citizens Advice network in Scotland encourages everyone to check that they are receiving the income they are entitled to.
“Every year, millions of pounds of welfare entitlement go unclaimed. At a time of increasing costs and pressures on household budgets, we strongly encourage people to get in touch with their local Citizens Advice Bureau or use our online tools like www.moneymap.scot to see if they could be receiving more money. Last year the CAB network across Scotland helped over 174,000 people and 2.4 million people checked our online advice pages.
“Advice from CABs is free, impartial and confidential. We never charge people for advice and are for everyone regardless of background or circumstance. Social Security Scotland have 12 new benefits and we want to make sure everyone knows their rights of access them.”
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