Local MSP Maree Todd, is calling on people in Orkney to claim the benefits that they are entitled to, following the launch of a Scottish Government awareness campaign. A week-long series of radio and press adverts will run to highlight the range of support available – such as the Sure Start Maternity Grant, Carers Allowance and the Funeral Expenses Payment.
Throughout Scotland, it was estimated that 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 in 2014-15 – and the campaign seeks to correct this by raising awareness through a week of radio and press adverts.
Commenting, Maree Todd, SNP MSP, said:
“People may not be aware of the range of benefits available to them – in light of this, I encourage everyone to check they are not missing out on the support they are entitled to.”
“By raising awareness that there are a whole range of benefits available, we can help alleviate the difficulties that many people face on a day to day basis, and ensure that they are not missing out on the financial support they need.”
Social Security Minister for the Scottish Government, Jeane Freeman, said that the benefits system exists to help those in need and on low incomes and that people should not be worried about claiming what they are entitled to.
Jeane Freeman said:
“Claiming the benefits that people are entitled to will help maximise family incomes and can reduce poverty levels. For example, around a third of pensioners are entitled to Pension Credit but do not claim it. We want to help people to know what financial support is available that could make a difference to their lives.”
“We also know that personal circumstances can change very quickly – whether it’s losing a job, a family bereavement, becoming a carer for a family member, or having a child.”
“The evidence tells us that often many of us don’t realise that changes in our lives can mean we are entitled to additional support and that there is a range of benefits all of us are entitled to know about.”
“Many of us will need that financial support at some point in our lives, whether we’re in work or not. So we all have stake in ensuring everyone is looked after properly and the social security system exists to help and support those who need it, when they need it.”
Local SNP MSP Maree Todd said:
“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.”
“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.”
For more information: Benefits- Citizens Advice Scotland