Concerns have been raised over the number of cash-strapped people who are missing out on benefits they are entitled to.

A total of 12 benefits are administered by Social Security Scotland but there are fears many local residents aren’t aware they are eligible for support, leaving them more vulnerable during the cost-of-living crisis.

Help is available to disabled people, carers, young people entering the workplace and those on low income who are responsible for children under the age of 16.

Cash is also being provided to ensure those who are struggling to make ends meet can afford to heat their home.

Social Security Scotland can even provide funding to help people pay for a loved one’s funeral.

Ben Macpherson, Minister for Social Security, said: “January is traditionally a month where people find it harder financially than the rest of the year. This pressure can be more acute for people on low incomes or who face additional costs due to a disability or ill-health condition.

“The cost-of-living crisis also means that people are facing difficult financial decisions day in and day out.

“We are committed to making sure that people are getting all of the money that they are entitled to. That is why we are making payments automatically where we can.

“Where people need to apply, we are working hard to promote these payments and make the process of accessing them as straightforward as possible.”

To help ensure local residents are claiming the benefits they are entitled to, Social Security Scotland is launching a campaign to encourage parents and carers to apply for the Scottish Child Payment.

Mr Macpherson added: “People can apply for our benefits online, by phone, through the post or in person – whatever works best for them.

“We want people to talk with others they know about the support that is available.

“Please look into what is available and apply if you think you could be eligible.”

To check if you are eligible for payments or to apply, visit or call Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222.