Total cost of benefits: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Request for information 1: You requested a breakdown of the total cost of benefits administered by Social Security Scotland.

Request for information 2: You enquired about the criteria to be eligible for these benefits.

Request for information 3: You asked why being in receipt of benefits may not be considered when eligibility is assessed for other benefits.


Request for information 1:

Under Section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy. Total benefit expenditure for each financial year can be found in our Annual Report and Accounts, which are available at our publications page here:

You will find information for 2020-21 and 2021-22 on page 93 of our most recent Annual Report and Accounts, available here:

Please see the table below for the current financial year’s spend to date on each benefit from 1 April 2022 to 31 October 2022, alongside the links which will take you directly to the relevant information pages for each benefit.

Form of Assistance Actual to 31 October 2022 (£m)
Best Start Grant - Pregnancy & Baby 4.2
Best Start Grant - Early Learning 2.9
Best Start Grant - School 4.1
Best Start Foods 7.0
Carer's Allowance Supplement 22.4
Funeral Support Payment 5.3
Job Start Payment 0.2
Young Carer's Grant 0.5
Scottish Child Payment 64.7
Child Winter Heating Assistance 5.0
Child Disability Payment 81.8
Adult Disability Payment 7.6

Please note, figures from 1 April 2022 to 31 October 2022 in the table above are unaudited and are therefore subject to change, and the total figure will change as the financial year 2022-23 progresses.

Request for information 2:

Information on all of the benefits, funds and grants paid by Social Security Scotland is published at, this includes an overview of each benefit and explains who can apply for these. This information can be accessed here:

Request for information 3:

[note] Eligibility criteria is a matter for the Scottish Government who set the eligibility for devolved benefits in line with policy objectives. Social Security Scotland is responsible for delivering the benefits we administer in line with this. We have asked colleagues in the Scottish Government to provide the below information:

Eligibility criteria for benefits are set with the intention of providing assistance to those who need it. Criteria can be based on various factors, including income or eligibility for other benefits.

Where the Scottish Government have taken steps to ensure income from benefits is disregarded for tax and benefits purposes (so that they do not impact on entitlement to other forms of assistance) this is to ensure policy outcomes are not undermined.

For example, Scottish Child Payment was created to reduce child poverty by raising household incomes, and to deliver this poverty reduction it is important to make sure that the additional support provided to a low income family is not undermined by a consequential reduction to any of the other forms of support available.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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