New £500,000 fund launched to improve benefit take-up

A new £500,000 fund has been launched for organisations which help people accessing the benefits to be delivered by the Scottish Government.

Shirley-Anne Somerville

The Scottish Benefit Take-up Fund will support charities and third sector organisations in their work to address barriers which prevent people from applying for benefits.

This includes tackling perceived stigma and supporting people through the application process.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary, said: “We believe social security is an investment in the people of Scotland and it should help tackle poverty. This new fund will help charities and third sector organisations get prepared for the new system we are creating. It will have a particular emphasis on helping those who are new to applying for benefits and assisting harder-to-reach people.

“Encouraging individuals to claim the financial assistance they are entitled to is a duty of government and a social responsibility.

“I have heard from far too many people who currently fear accessing welfare support. They know only of stigma, stress and anxiety. I am determined we do not replicate these negative experiences with the benefits we deliver.

“I want organisations to be equipped to provide information and promote the take-up of benefits. Whether it is training staff, getting information ready, or delivering promotional materials, we want to support organisations who support the people of Scotland.”

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