Take-up rates of Scottish benefits: November 2023

This publication contains our latest estimates of take-up of Scottish benefits delivered by Social Security Scotland. An 'Easy Read' version of this publication is available in the Supporting Documents section.


The Social Security Scotland Charter sets out what people should expect from Scotland’s social security system. This includes working towards a better future by investing in the people of Scotland and making a positive difference to all our lives. As part of this the Scottish Government has committed to improving take-up, ensuring as many people as possible get the benefit support they are entitled to and making a particular effort to reach people who are most likely to be excluded.

Analysis of take-up rates are important to understand to what extent social security benefits delivered in Scotland are reaching the people intended and how that is changing over time. This is the second annual publication of estimates of take-up of the Scottish benefits delivered by Social Security Scotland, covering:

  • Scottish Child Payment (including local authority estimates)
  • Best Start Grant
  • Best Start Foods
  • Young Carer Grant
  • Funeral Support Payment
  • Job Start Payment

What is take-up?

  • A take-up rate is the percentage of people entitled to a benefit that receive it.
  • Some people do not apply for benefits they are entitled to, this could be due to: social barriers (e.g. perceived stigma of applying for benefits), costly or complex access (e.g. complex application process), or a lack of information (e.g. people being unaware of available support).
  • Take-up rates are calculated by dividing the number of recipients of a benefit by the number of people eligible for the benefit (whether they received the benefit or not).
  • While the number of people receiving these benefits is known, the number of people eligible to claim these benefits has to be estimated. This means the take-up rates in this publication are estimates only and contain a degree of uncertainty.
An illustration showing a division equation as an example which explains how to calculate take-up. There are seven benefit recipients on top as the numerator; and ten eligible population on the bottom as the denominator. The take-up is equal to 70%.


Email: ceu@gov.scot

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