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Examples of complaints to Social Security Scotland

These are examples of complaints Social Security Scotland has dealt with and the steps they took to improve their service.

Example 1

Shahida is deaf and uses British Sign Language to communicate. She made an application for Funeral Support Payment when her daughter died. 

Social Security Scotland sent Shahida a letter to tell her she was not entitled to a payment because she was not the nearest relative of her daughter.

Shahida made a complaint to Social Security Scotland. She told them that she had not been given a chance to explain her circumstances.

Social Security Scotland looked into her complaint and found:

  • Shahida had been contacted by telephone to get more information at the time of the application
  • these calls were not answered
  • a decision about the application was made without any extra information

Social Security Scotland had not checked Shahida’s preferred contact method. This showed she needed British Sign Language video calls.

How Shahida’s complaint was resolved

Social Security Scotland apologised and got the information needed by a British Sign Language video call. Shahida’s application for Funeral Support Payment was considered again. Training was also set up for staff to make sure they check clients’ preferred contact methods.

Example 2

Sara and her wife Lucia applied for Best Start Foods while Lucia was pregnant. They complained to Social Security Scotland because their application had still not been processed a month after they applied.

Social Security Scotland investigated their complaint and found:

  • their application was delayed because Lucia did not have a National Insurance number (as she had recently arrived in the UK)
  • their system used National Insurance numbers to record a client’s details and without it, could not process their application

How Sara and Lucia’s complaint was resolved

Social Security Scotland apologised and fixed the system error that had stopped their application being processed. Their application was accepted and they were paid Best Start Foods from the day they applied.

Example 3

Angelika made an application for Best Start Grant because her daughter, Sofia, was starting school. Sofia could have started school a year earlier, but Angelika chose to wait a year.

Angelika saw an advert on social media about applying for a School Age payment. Social Security Scotland denied this application as Sofia was too old. This is because there’s a set time frame for applying.

Angelika complained that the advert for School Age payment on social media was misleading as it did not:

  • give any dates for when you had to apply
  • say that children had to be a certain age to get the payment

How Angelika’s complaint was resolved

Social Security Scotland apologised and added this information to future social media adverts about School Age payment.

Example 4

Luke is a carer for his mum Caroline. He applied for a Young Carer Grant for looking after his mum. Luke had not heard anything 4 weeks after he applied.

He called Social Security Scotland for an update and found out:

  • his application had been processed within a week
  • he was entitled to Young Carer Grant
  • there was an incorrect number in his bank account details, so no payment had been made
  • Social Security Scotland had not contacted him to ask for his correct bank details

Luke made a complaint about the lack of communication from Social Security Scotland.

How Luke’s complaint was resolved

Social Security Scotland apologised and confirmed Luke’s bank account details. They then made the payment to him. They also reminded staff to contact clients in the event of any errors in an application.

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