Social Security (Act) 2018: progress report 2020 to 2021

Report published under Section 20 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 which requires Scottish Ministers to report annually on the performance of the Scottish social security system.


We are committed to delivering devolved social security benefits in a way which puts dignity, fairness and respect at the heart of the process. Social security is a collective investment for the benefit of all of Scotland. We have built a brand new public service from the ground up. The benefits we have already launched are making a meaningful difference and we have laid strong foundations for what is to come.

This report provides a progress update on the implementation of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 from 1 April 2020 until the end of March 2021, and focusses on the policy aspects where the Scottish Government has a particular role and duty to report. The report is designed to complement Social Security Scotland’s own comprehensive progress report, which focusses on operational aspects.

At the time of publication of this report we are delivering 11 benefits – 7 of them are brand new and unique to Scotland. The 4 others replace UK Government benefits in an improved and enhanced way. We have also been building the capacity and infrastructure for the delivery of several more benefits, including disability and carers benefits.

The period covered by this report saw unprecedented upheaval as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but, despite this, represented another successful year - with the delivery of Job Start Payment, Child Winter Heating Assistance, Scottish Child Payment and further support for carer’s with the Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement payment.

Of course, the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland continue to navigate the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic as we look towards recovery. Providing financial security for low income households in these difficult times remains a key priority for the Scottish Government as a whole, as we work to tackle poverty and enhance equality.

Ben Macpherson

Minister for Social Security and Local Government



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