What benefits can I claim?

We know the welfare benefits system can be difficult to understand.

This quick guide looks at the main benefits available – and who gets them.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit helps with the cost of rent if you are on a low income. It’s paid if you’re in or out of work. You can claim Housing Benefit at any age. The amount you’ll get depends on:

  • your age
  • your income
  • if you are claiming as a single person
  • if you are claiming for you and your family
  • if you are claiming as part of a couple.

You may get extra benefits if you are disabled or a carer.

For more information, click Housing Benefits.

If you are of working age you can no longer make a new claim for Housing Benefit. If you have housing costs you will need to claim Universal Credit.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single monthly benefit for working-age people on a low income or who are out of work. It replaces six existing benefits, including Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.

You are of working age if you are over 18 and under Pension Credit age. You need to sign a ‘Claimant Commitment’ which sets out what you’ll do to find work. If you don’t do this you may be sanctioned and your benefits cut. For more information you can download our benefit sanctions factsheet.

Click on our handy Universal Credit factsheet for Wheatley Homes Glasgow tenants. You can also click on this short video for more information.

You can also click on how Universal Credit can help you into work video.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

You cannot apply for contribution-based or income-based JSA anymore. This has been replaced by ‘New JSA’.

To get JSA you also have to meet several conditions, which include showing that you are looking for work. Claim online on the GOV.UK website or claim on the phone by calling Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

New Employment Support Allowance

New Employment Support Allowance is for people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. It also provides personalised support to those who are able to work.

You will get a medical check called the Work Capability Assessment. This is used to assess what you can do, rather than what you cannot do.

Benefits for over 66s

Retirement Pension
The State Pension is based on National Insurance contributions and is paid when you reach pension age.

State Pension age is currently 66 for women and men. For those born after 5 April 1960, there will be a phased increase in State Pension age to 67, and eventually 68.

Pension Credit
There are two parts to Pension Credit – you may get one or both of them:

  • Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level set by the UK Government.
  • You can only get savings credit if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.

Disability and Carer's benefits

Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance is a benefit that helps with the extra costs you may face if you’re disabled.

Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment is a new benefit for people who need help taking part in everyday life or who find it difficult to get around.

It replaces Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16–64 who have extra care needs or mobility needs. It supports those in most need to remain independent.

To ask for a claim pack, call 0800 917 2222. You can also check out the Personal Independence Payment video.

Attendance Allowance
Attendance Allowance is for people aged 65 or over who have care needs. Claiming Attendance Allowance won’t reduce any other income you receive.

You must have needed help with your care needs for at least six months. If you’re terminally ill, you can make a claim straight away. To ask for a claim pack, call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122.

Carer’s Allowance
For people aged 16 or over who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is ill or who has a disability. To ask for a claim pack, call 0800 731 0297 or by filling in the Carer’s Allowance claim form.

Scottish Benefits

Adult Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment is a new type of assistance. It can help with the extra costs of living with a disability or health condition. It will replace Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults in Scotland.

The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you.

Child Disability Payment

Child Disability Payment provides support for the extra costs that a disabled child might have.

You can apply for Child Disability Payment for a disabled child under 16. The disability can be mental or physical. Social Security Scotland will pay Child Disability Payment until the child is 18. You can apply online or by calling 0800 182 2222.

Young Carer Grant

Young Carer Grant is a yearly payment of £359.65 for young carers in Scotland.

To be able to get Young Carer Grant, you must be 16, 17 or 18 years old.

You can get a Young Carer Grant once a year, up until you turn 19. You'll need to fill an online form or call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222 each year you want to apply.

Carers Allowance Supplement

Carer's Allowance Supplement is an extra payment for people in Scotland who get Carer's Allowance on a particular date.

Carer's Allowance Supplement is paid two times a year.

This is administered automatically by Scottish Social Security.

Scottish Child Payment

Scottish Child Payment helps towards the costs of supporting your family. It's a weekly payment of £25 that you can get for every child you look after who's under sixteen years of age.

You'll get the payment every four weeks if your application is successful.

You can apply online or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.

Scottish Welfare Fund

You must be 16 or older and on a low income, or getting certain benefits, to apply for a grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

There are different grants you can apply for depending on your circumstances. You do not need to pay these grants back.

You can apply for a:

  • Crisis Grant – to help with an unexpected emergency like a fire or flood, losing your money or your job
  • Community Care Grant – to help you or someone you care for to start to live, or to carry on living, a settled life in the community

You need to apply through your local council.

Funeral Support Payment

Funeral Support Payment helps pay for funeral costs if you live in Scotland. You can use the payment towards funeral costs for a baby, child or adult. This includes babies who were stillborn.

It usually will not cover the full cost of the funeral, but it should help pay for some costs. It can be paid either to you or the funeral director who's helping you plan the funeral.

Only one person can get Funeral Support Payment for the funeral.

You can apply online

You can apply by telephone on 0800 182 2222 or you can request a paper application

Winter Heating Payment

Winter Heating Payment is a yearly payment to help people on low income benefits who might have extra heating needs during the winter. The payment for winter 2023/24 is £55.05 and is paid automatically.

It replaces the Cold Weather Payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and has the same eligibility requirements.

Best Start Grants

Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods are payments that help towards the costs of being pregnant or looking after a child. They’re part of the five family payments you may be able to get from Social Security Scotland, along with Scottish Child Payment.

You can apply online

You can apply by telephone on 0800 182 2222 or you can request a paper application

You may now qualify for automatic payments for certain benefits without needing to apply. If you get the Scottish Child Payment, checks will be done for entitlement to Best Start Grants.

Independent Living Fund Scotland Transition Fund

If you're aged 15 to 25 with a disability or impairment you can apply to the Transition Fund for money to help you take part in a new activity or learn a skill.

To apply for the Transition Fund, you'll need to apply to ILF Scotland.

If you have any questions or need help, contact ILF Scotland:

Email: enquiries@ilf.scot

Phone: 0300 200 2022

Short Term Assistance

Short-term Assistance is a temporary payment you can apply for when you ask to challenge a decision to reduce or stop your:

  • Adult Disability Payment
  • Child Disability Payment

While your challenge is ongoing, Short-term Assistance payments replace the amount Social Security Scotland reduced your disability payment by. This is so you do not have to manage on less money while you challenge the decision.

You will not need to pay back any Short-term Assistance you’re entitled to. This is not affected by the outcome of your challenge

You can apply online; you will need an account with ‘myaccount’ to apply online.

You can apply by telephone on 0800 182 2222 or you can request a paper application

We can help with any re-determination or appeal call us on 0800 479 7979 for an appointment with a Welfare Benefits Adviser

For full details on Scottish Benefits and assistance visit https://www.mygov.scot/browse/benefits

Benefit Cap

The Benefit Cap is a limit to the total amount of money you can get from benefits. If your benefits would add up to more than the limit, your Housing Benefit/Universal Credit will be reduced.

The amount of money you can get in benefits before the Benefit Cap applies depends on things like:

  • where you live
  • if you're single
  • if you have children in your household

Not everyone is affected, for more information on the benefit cap

The Scottish Government has awarded additional funding to the Discretionary Housing Payment Fund to mitigate the benefit cap as fully as possible.

Need help with welfare benefits?

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