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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10665: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 10 August 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5O-00981 by Angela Constance on 17 May 2017 (Official Report, c. 18), how the Scottish Social Security Agency will seek to maximise incomes.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 August 2017

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s commitment to help maximise peoples’ incomes and encourage the take-up of all benefits to ensure that those who are eligible receive the benefits to which they are entitled, the Social Security (Scotland) Bill includes the principle that “the Scottish Ministers have a role in ensuring that individuals are given what they are eligible to be given under the Scottish social security system.”

Scotland’s new social security agency will play an important part in helping to deliver this commitment to maximising family income and tackling poverty, through encouraging people to claim the benefits that are their due. The Agency will do this by providing accessible information about the assistance it provides, helping people to understand what they are entitled to and supporting them through the application process and any follow up actions relating to their case. It will also work closely with the advice service sector and local authorities to form local relationships with organisations and refer people to relevant areas to ensure they get the maximum support personally and financially.