Benefit Take-Up and Income Maximisation Fund – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Scottish Government is committed to promoting and supporting the take-up of Scottish social security benefits. Scottish Government is reliant on the experience, expertise, and extensive networks of stakeholders.

It is clear that the organisations providing benefit support and advice will require updated materials and training and will want to do their own work to promote the take-up of Scottish benefits.

In recognition of this Scottish Government has introduced the new £500,00 Scottish Benefit Take-Up Fund and the £100,000 Scottish Income Maximisation Fund.

To support organisations to apply to the fund we have put together some FAQs. This is a ‘live’ document and will be added to during the application period

What organisations are eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants can be charitable or third sector organisations who support those who will be applying for benefits delivered by Social Security Scotland and:

  • are established for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes; and
  • provides free and impartial advice to Scottish citizens applying for, or seeking to apply for, Scottish social security benefits; and
  • do not gain any direct economic advantage from advice provided, for example through provision of further chargeable services.

My organisation supports people who have recourse to public funds but are not citizens. Can we apply?

Yes. The advice provided by organisations is not limited to citizens. Organisations should be supporting people living in Scotland to access Scottish benefits. This would include those with recourse to public funds but no formal citizenship

Can an organisation submit more than one application to each fund?

Yes, we will accept more than one application from an organisation however we are keen that this fund supports as many eligible organisations as possible therefore this will be taken into account in the assessment process.

Can I apply to both funds?

Yes you can, however we are keen that this fund supports as many eligible organisations as possible therefore this will be taken into account in the assessment process.

What is the difference between the funds?

The Scottish Benefits Take-Up Fund is to assist organisations who are preparing their services and staff to support people who will be applying for Scottish benefits. Examples could be staff training; development of materials; development of internal systems and processes; procurement of IT systems.

The Income Maximisation Fund is to assist organisations who support people to increase their household incomes – ensuring people are aware of the financial support available to them. Examples could be targeted community events; development of a financial support ‘health check’ tool

How much can I apply for?

For the Scottish benefits Take-Up Fund the minimum is £5,000 and the maximum is £50,000

For the Income Maximisation Fund the minimum is £1,000 and the maximim £15,000

Can I use this funding as match funding?

No. The aim of these funds is to provide one-off, short-term support to organisations to develop new projects

What are the timescales for delivering projects?

The earliest date a project can start is 1st April 2020 and all projects must complete no later than 31st March 2021.

Can I save my application form?

   The application is in word format therefore you can download this and save as you go.

How will my application be assessed?

After the deadline has passed, all applications will be assessed and scored by a Scottish Government assessment team. This assessment will involve looking at:

  • Organisation’s eligibility;
  • Meets existing or expected information gaps and builds organisational capacity to provide advice and support
  • Supports specific target group(s) to take up Scottish benefit entitlement
  • Takes a person centred approach

There will be no appeals process.

When will I find out if my application has been successful?

     All applicants will be notified c 20th February 2020

When is funding paid to successful organisations?

Successful applicants will receive their grant payment as follows:

Payment 1 50% of total award Paid 6 months from date of grant notification letter and on confirmation of project progress
Payment 2 40% of total award Paid 12 months from date of grant notification letter and on confirmation of project delivery
Payment 3 10% of total award Paid on submission of project evaluation report

Please note where successful applicants require an up-front/set-up payment this will be paid before 31st March 2020 and deducted from payment 1

All payments will be made by BACS to the account notified to us.

What about evaluation?

You will be required to complete an evaluation report which we will send to you when your project ends. This must be returned to us no later than 30th June 2021

What records do I have to keep?

 It is vitally important that complete records are kept for your project. 

All payments by projects must be supported by a fully transparent audit trail including transaction lists traceable to bank statements. Receipted invoices vouching individual items of expenditure are ideal. Where this cannot be done, payments must be supported by accounting documents of equivalent probative value. For example, salaries must be supported by payroll records, BACS lists and bank statements. Where electronic media are used for procurement / ordering / purchasing, payment, banking (bank statements) print-offs or ‘screen shots’ should be retained. These financial records must be retained for 5 years following the end of your funded project.

You should also keep records that will allow you to report on the project in terms of project’s activities, beneficiaries, outputs, outcomes etc.

There is also a legal responsibility to comply with the provisions of the Data Protection laws and this applies to data sharing, transfer and retention.  

You should process all required paperwork within agreed timescales, provide evidence as required by Scottish Government and retain appropriate documentation to meet compliance and audit requirements agreed between Scottish Government and the grant holder. 

Can I chat to someone about these funds?

Certainly. Email and one of the team will get back to you

How do I apply?

You can find the application and help notes at this link:

Page last modified on 23rd January 2020