Falkirk benefits system set to be ‘more local’

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The local wing of Scotland’s new social security agency could be based in Falkirk Council premises, in what’s described as a “milestone” for benefits.

Planning for Scotland’s new social security system has been reached between the Scottish Government and local authority body COSLA.

It follows Scottish Government visits to all 32 local authority areas and comes ahead of the introduction of the first Scottish benefits from next year – Carers Allowance Supplement, to be followed by Best Start Grant, and Funeral Expenses Assistance.

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said: “We are determined to create a social security system for Scotland that is fair and treats people with respect, and part of that means making sure people can use services as close to home as possible.

“By working with colleagues in COSLA, local authorities and other partners such as health, we are making sure people can use our new social security system in existing premises in communities around the country.

COSLA President Alison Evison said: “The devolution of elements of social security to Scotland provides a significant opportunity to ensure services to claim essential support are easily accessible.

“This agreement lays down the principles around planning these services – Scottish and local government will work together to ensure face to face support is embedded in communities across Scotland in ways which complement existing services and support.

“Local government, along with our community planning partners, understands what is needed in the communities we serve across Scotland – it is right that this knowledge and expertise contributes to how things are developed so those who need assistance claiming support can access it.”