IncomeMAX were pleased to be asked to help readers of The Scottish Sun make sense of the possible benefit entitlement of the stars of hit BBC Scotland TV show The Scheme.

The hard-hitting reailty TV documentary follows the dramatic and emotional highs and lows of daily life for six
different families all living in one large housing scheme in Kilmarnock.

Benefits and tax credits income is always a controversial subject and we're grateful to The Sun for allowing us to make sense of the type of benefits and tax credits income some of the cast may have been entitled to at the time of filming.

The first series was actually filmed two years ago, but we've used current benefit rates in the article to avoid confusion.

Of course it is all just rough guidance anyway, as many of the cast's circumstances have changed since the programme was filmed. We'd have needed to carry out a full benefit check at the time to establish actual entitlement but it is still a good indicator of the types of payments that are available under the current welfare system.

The Scheme really brings to life many of the issues we see at IncomeMAX every day. The welfare system traps so many people in poverty with seemingly no way out, especially because of the work and couple penalties that exist.

The government have recognised that the welfare system is not working as it should and because of this they are introducing the Universal Credit from 2013, to help people on benefits be better off when they work.

If you haven't yet seen The Scheme check it out on BBC iPlayer

Check out The Scottish Sun benefits story by Graeme Donohoe.