Social security support for refugees in Scotland

Refugees in Scotland are entitled to the same social and economic rights as any other citizen, including benefits. To mark Refugee Week, we are urging people to check if they are eligible for financial support.

Benefit information is available in different languages

We understand that some refugees making Scotland their home may not speak English as their first language. Making sure people can access and understand all of the information about our 13 benefits is part of our commitment to inclusive communications and one of our key principles.

Information on benefits is proactively translated into 12 languages used in communities across Scotland, including Urdu, Polish and Gaelic. Last year we also translated our factsheets into Ukrainian to help refugees and displaced people access benefits. Translated information on all of our benefits can be accessed via the resources section of our website.

Widened benefit eligibility for refugees and asylum seekers

Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment can help with the costs of items people might need when they are pregnant or having new baby, like a cot, nappies, pram or changing mat. When coming to the UK, many refugees will not be able to bring and re-use baby items that they already had for previous children.

Therefore, at the end of last year, the Scottish Government widened eligibility of the higher rate of Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment. This means that if someone has been granted refugee status, humanitarian protection, or leave under the Afghanistan or Ukraine resettlement schemes, and their other children were born before they arrived in the UK, they can receive the higher rate of £707.25 for a new child.

People may also be able to get Best Start Foods for their children even if they have no access to public funds and are unable to apply for certain other qualifying benefits because of their immigration status or because they do not have an immigration status.

Supporting refugees to apply for social security

Our team of specially trained client advisers, who are based in every Local Authority area in Scotland, can also help people to apply for our benefits and can provide support at home, over the phone, by video call or in a community venue at a time and place that best suits them.

This team have been providing support to refugees in communities and refugee hubs across Scotland in collaboration with different partners, including the NHS, local Councils, charities and the Department for Work and Pensions. Our client advisers provided support in different venues refugees were already accessing, including community centres and libraries, delivering information about benefits they may be entitled to, as well as giving one to one support to help people apply.

If you are a refugee, or organisation supporting refugees, and would like more information you can find out more and apply online at Or you can apply in person, over the phone or ask for a paper application form by post by calling us free on 0800 182 2222.

Social Security Scotland – Social security support for refugees in Scotland

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