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27/02/20 10:30

Funds awarded to maximise benefit take-up

26 groups across Scotland share £600,000.

Organisations which will help to maximise the take-up of benefits and household incomes in Scotland have been awarded £600,000.

A total of 26 bodies from across the country received allocations to support hard to reach groups, single parents and people with particular barriers such as mental or physical disabilities to apply for Scottish social security benefits.

The funding is part of the Scottish Government’s Benefit Take-Up Strategy, launched in October 2019.

Announcing the successful applicants at North East Sensory Services, a charity in Aberdeen awarded £42,665 to help people with hearing and sight impairments, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“We believe social security is a human right and an investment in the people of Scotland. That is why everyone who is eligible to apply for benefits should have the support they need.

“Along with local delivery staff, we want third sector organisations to add their expertise and reach out to help those who need it most.

“This funding of £600,000 will be vital to support those who face barriers to access the financial support they are entitled to and increase their incomes. This includes the people with sight or hearing impairments who are supported by North East Sensory Services.

“This funding shows we are determined to do things differently in Scotland and create a new social security system that puts dignity, fairness and respect at its heart.”

Graham Findlay, Chief Executive of North East Sensory Services, said:

“The support we provide reaches more than 6,500 blind and deaf people across the North East of Scotland.

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised the particular difficulties our service users have in finding out about and applying for crucial benefits that help them to live their lives as independently as possible.

“This funding is vital to upskill our staff team with specialist knowledge so we can provide essential support to those who need help navigating the benefits system."