Local benefits delivery service opens
People who live in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles are the first to access new face-to-face support when applying for Scottish benefits ahead of a full rollout later this year.
The introduction of Social Security Scotland’s new Local Delivery service coincided with the launch of the Child Disability Payment last week, the first Scottish disability benefit which needs to be applied for.
Clients can book an appointment to meet with a specially trained adviser at a venue within their local community or at their home and also be able to request video call or telephone appointments.
Client Support Advisers will answer any queries about Social Security Scotland benefits, help to complete paper or online applications forms, offer other support such as identity and document verification and help with submitting change of circumstances information. There will also be an increased range of ways people can apply for payments they are entitled to.
The service started in the pilot areas for Child Disability Payment ahead of being rolled out across the whole of Scotland from November 2021.
Social security minister Ben Macpherson said: “The introduction of the new face-to-face service demonstrates how the Scottish Government is committed to delivering social security differently from the UK Government.
“We want to make sure people get all of the financial support they are entitled to. Key to making this happen is ensuring that the service is easily accessible to clients from the initial application stage onwards.”
He added: “We’ve listened to people who have experience of the current UK system and we’ve ensured that our social security system treats people with dignity, fairness and respect.
“We have designed a system which will allow people to apply in the way that suits them best - by post, phone, online, video call or face-to-face. It gives people choices and makes sure that we take into consideration different accessibility needs – particularly for those looking to apply for disability assistance.”