Benefit Take-up


About the Inquiry

The Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee has launched an inquiry into benefit take-up.  The Committee will explore how take-up for both reserved and devolved social security benefits can be improved, including through benefit automation. This will include what we do, and do not know about what is unclaimed and what can be learned from previous efforts to promote take-up.

Further information can be found on the call for views page. 

Read the news release here.


The Committee issued a call for written views on Monday 9 September which ran until Monday 21 October 2019. The call for written views is now closed.

The Committee held 2 oral evidence sessions in November 2019 before pausing the inquiry. The Committee began taking evidence again in January 2020.


The Committee issued a call for views which can be accessed via the link below.  The closing date for written submissions was Monday 21 October 2019.

Read the call for views 

Read the written submissions received

The Committee began taking oral evidence in November 2019.

On Thursday 7 November, the Committee took evidence from:

Professor Paul Spicker, Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, Robert Gordon University;
Professor Mark Shucksmith, Professor of Planning, Newcastle University;
Professor David Bell, Professor of Economics, University of Stirling;

Catherine Henry, Financial Health Check Service Project Manager, Citizens Advice Scotland;
Fiona Moss, Head of Health Improvement and Equalities, Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership;
Peter Hastie, Policy Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support.

On Thursday 21 November, the Committee took evidence from: 

Judith Paterson, Head of Advice and Rights (Scotland), Child Poverty Action Group;
Richard Gass, Chair, Rights Advice Scotland;
David Wallace, Chief Executive, Social Security Scotland.

On Thursday 23 January 2020 the Committee took evidence from:

Malcolm Gardner, Senior Business Analyst, Team Netsol Ltd;

Phil Agulnik, Director, entitledto;

Louise Murphy, Policy and Operations analyst, Policy in Practice;

Megan Mclean, Policy and Operations analyst, Policy in Practice;

Katie Farrington, Director Universal Credit and Employment Policy, DWP;

Andrew Latto, Deputy Director Devoluton, Pensioner Benefits and Carer's Allowance Policy, DWP;

Derek Kilday, Group Director Central and West Scotland, DWP.

On Thursday 6 February 2020 the Committee took evidence from:

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Scottish Government;

Ann McVie, Deputy Director Social Security Policy, Scottish Government;

Ruari Sutherland, Team Leader Benefit Take-up, Scottish Government.

Read the meeting papers and Official Reports of the meetings



Visits and Events

On Thursday 14 November the Committee held an informal meeting in Wester Hailes to meet with staff and volunteers from a variety of initiatives in the area that provide support and advice to local residents.



The Committee published their inquiry report on 11 March 2020. Read the Benefit Take-up inquiry report here.

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