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Face-to-face support for benefit applications available across Scotland

Social Security Scotland is celebrating one year of providing in-person support to access its benefits. Its free local delivery service is available in every local authority in Scotland.

Designed to make our services as accessible as possible, people can book in-person meetings with an adviser at home, at a place in their local community or on either phone or video calls. People can pick a venue and time most convenient for them and appointments can be rearranged easily.

This means people in Scotland can apply for any of the 12 benefits administered by Social Security Scotland online, by phone, through the post or in person – whatever way suits them best making benefits easier to access and providing choice.

A Social Security Scotland client reflected on how the commitment to providing personal support made a positive change to them in the Agency’s recent annual Client Survey: “She asked if I had any issues filling in forms. I’m actually dyslexic… so somebody phoned me and he filled out the form for me. That was really helpful, getting someone else to fill it in... It was a video call and it was an hour. He was on his computer and he was speaking to me as well as typing it all in for me. That was really good”.

The team of local delivery advisers can answer queries about Social Security Scotland benefits, help clients to complete online or paper application forms, offer other support such as identity and document verification and help with submitting change of circumstances information. They can also help refer people or provide information on other relevant services including the Scottish Government’s free independent advocacy service.

Face-to-face support will be by appointment only and is available from venues in local communities, in people’s homes, in hospitals, in prisons and via video call. Telephone appointments are also available.

People can book an appointment with a Client Support Adviser by contacting Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.

Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson said:

“We are committed to ensuring that people can access benefits easily and get extra support to do so if they need it at a place and time convenient to them. Providing this across the country is an important principle for us and ensures anyone who would prefer to apply in person for one of our payments can do so. This is a key way we are doing things differently in delivering Scottish benefits.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting local delivery advisers over the course of this year and hearing some of the stories about how the service has really improved the experience for people – particularly for those applying for disability benefits.

“I am pleased we are able to proactively offer people support in their own communities by making the local delivery service available to people in all council regions across Scotland – from the central belt, to the Highlands and to all our Island communities.”

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