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MSP Calls on Constituents to Take up Benefits

Published date : 08 Mar 2017

LOCAL MSP CALLS ON CONSTITUENTS TO TAKE UP BENEFITS

MANY MAY BE MISSING OUT ON ENTITLEMENT

SNP MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Jeane Freeman has called on constituents across Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley to claim the benefits that they are entitled to, following the launch of a Scottish Government awareness campaign.

Throughout Scotland, it’s estimated that in 2014/15 there were over 500,000 cases of individuals or families not claiming the tax credits and other main income-related benefits they were entitled to.  The campaign aims to reduce this number  by raising awareness through a week of radio and press adverts.

Commenting, SNP MSP Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Jeane Freeman said:

“It is vitally important that families and individuals get the support that they are entitled to and the support that they need – and I encourage everyone across Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley to check what support that can receive through the social security system.

“The initiative has the backing of a number of key social security organisations, including Citizens Advice Scotland, One Parent Families Scotland and Age Scotland – and CAS are working closely with the Scottish Government in providing a dedicated web page that supplies all information on benefits and tax credits.

“People throughout Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley might be missing out on a whole range of benefits that they are entitled too – causing their existing income to become increasingly stretched and leaving many in financial difficulty. By raising awareness that there is a whole range of benefits that people can claim, we can help to alleviate the difficulties that many people face on a day to day basis.

“I encourage all local people across Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley to use the resources available and to check what benefits that they are entitled to – and to make use of the services available through the Scottish Government and third sector to ensure that they aren’t missing out on financial support.

“The Scottish Government is committed to putting dignity and respect at the heart of social security policy in Scotland, and this campaign is a step in the right direction towards doing that.”

ENDS

Notes:

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) provide GB or UK level estimates of take-up rates for pension credit, housing benefit, income-based JSA, income support and ESA, tax credits and child benefit.

Benefit

Source

Geographic level for take-up rate

2014-15 Caseload Take-up Rate, GB/UK

Estimated Scottish number entitled but not claiming

Pension credit

DWP

GB

62%

130,000

Housing benefit

DWP

GB

79%

140,000

JSA (income based)

DWP

GB

50%

80,000

Income Support & ESA

DWP

GB

82%

60,000

Child tax credit

HMRC

UK

86%

50,000

Working tax credit

HMRC

UK

65%

90,000

Source: DWP and HMRC.

For further information, visit: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/benefits/

One Parent Families Scotland provides specialist information for single parents. Visit www.opfs.org.uk  or call the freephone Lone Parent Helpline – 0808 801 0323.

Age Scotland can help older people check whether they are missing out on payments - contact their helpline on 0800 12 44 222.

Social Security
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