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Information relating to the stated nationalities of Social Security Scotland benefit applicants: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

FOI Reference: FOI/202400404671
Date received: 14 March 2024
Date responded: 12 April 2024


Information Requested

I submitted an FOI to Social Security Scotland some weeks ago asking about the nationalities of people who are claiming Social Security Scotland benefits. The reference number for this was: 202400399352.

Social Security supplied the information requested on 13 March, 2024. I would now like to submit another Freedom of Information Request and ask several supplementary questions in relation to this. These questions did, in fact, form part of my original questions to Social Security Scotland:-

Request for Information 1:

What types of benefits are the different nationalities registered with Social Security Scotland claiming?

Request for Information 2:

What is the average payment involved?

Request for Information 3:

What is the total cost of the benefits bill for the different nationalities registered with Social Security Scotland?


Response

You stated in your request that you had previously asked for the information within requests 1, 2 and 3.

In a previous request, FOI 202400391576 you asked –

“I would like to know how many foreign born nationals are granted benefits from Social Security Scotland. I would also like to know what kind of benefits they are entitled to and the average payment involved. Of particular interest would be how many of these people have been given Disability Benefits and the average payment involved. Also, how many of these people who claimed a Disability Benefit whilst residing in Scotland have gone back to their country of origin and if the payment/s awarded here are now sent to foreign bank accounts?”

In this question you asked for ‘foreign born nationals’ and not ‘different nationalities’, therefore we have treated these as separate FOI requests.

Your request for information 1:

Please find attached a document containing the list of countries Social Security Scotland applicants have registered with stating their nationality other than “British Citizen” and the benefits applied for.

Please note that Carer’s Allowance Supplement is not included on this list. This is because the eligibility for this benefit is confirmed by the Department for Work and Pensions and nationality is not a data field Social Security Scotland receives as part of that information.

Your request for information 2:

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Social Security Scotland does not have the information you have requested. This information is not held as to calculate the average we would need to understand the amount paid to each client where a nationality other than ‘British Citizen’ was stated. This is not something we currently record. Consequently to answer your request we would be creating new information, something we are not required to do under FOISA. Therefore we do not hold this information.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Social Security Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

Your request for information 3:

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Social Security Scotland does not have the information you have requested. This information is not held as to calculate the total we would need to understand the amount paid to each client where a nationality other than ‘British Citizen’ was stated. This is not something we currently record. Consequently to answer your request we would be creating new information, something we are not required to do under FOISA. Therefore we do not hold this information.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Social Security Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI

Social Security Scotland is committed to publishing its response to requests. The Scottish Government also publishes responses to requests. You can view the responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

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