Scottish families to be alerted to additional financial support
The Scottish Government is to actively inform families that they may be eligible for Best Start Foods and the Best Start Grant.
Information obtained from DWP and HMRC will allow Social Security Scotland to identify people who are on certain benefits or tax credits and have children of the right age. Social Security Scotland will then write to an estimated 22,000 families before the end of August inviting them to apply.
The letters are aimed at increasing take up of all financial support families are entitled to as part of the Scottish Government’s benefit take-up strategy and the wider co-ordinated approach to helping families who are under even more financial pressure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This important new proactive approach to maximising benefit uptake is a first for social security in Scotland.
Families already receiving qualifying UK benefits and tax credits will receive these invites. Those who currently don’t receive such support but think that they may be eligible are still encouraged to find out if they too are entitled to access Scottish benefits.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary, said: “Social security is a human right and an investment in the people of Scotland. Encouraging individuals to claim the financial assistance they are entitled to is a duty of government and a social responsibility. We are committed to making sure that people get all of the money that they are entitled to - to help maximise incomes and tackle poverty.
“The economic impacts of the pandemic are pushing thousands of people further into hardship so it’s important families are informed about the support available to them.
“This unique direct marketing of benefits complements the Scottish Government’s wider efforts to help parents during this challenging time. We must do all that we can to eradicate child poverty and make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.”