The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 is an Act of the Scottish Parliament which sets out the framework for most of the new benefits to be delivered by Social Security Scotland. In the law, these are called types of ‘assistance’. The Act includes all of the rules for the carer’s allowance supplement but most of the detailed rules about other Scottish benefits are, or will be, in regulations. The Act also includes a power to 'top-up' benefits that are the responsibility of the UK Government. The Scottish Government plans to use this power to introduce a Scottish child payment in late 2020.
As well as basic eligibility information for each benefit, the Social Security (Scotland) Act includes:
- eight principles under which the Scottish social security system will be delivered
- rules about claiming benefits
- how information should be communicated so that it's accessible
- what to do if you're unhappy with a decision
- how medical assessments should be carried out.
So far, the regulations that have been finalised are for the best start grant, funeral support payment and the young carer grant.
There are other devolved benefits whose legal basis is not the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. These are best start foods, the Scottish welfare fund, council tax reduction and discretionary housing payments.