Navigating DWP and Social Security Scotland can be complicated – we don’t recommend tackling this without guidance. We’re here to take the stress out of the process for you.

You’ll find information on the main benefits that may be relevant to you below.

For further information, advice, or help with benefits, grants, or form-filling, please contact Adrienne Cunningham on adrienne@eastend-carers.co.uk or call/text 07966 884814.

Anyone under the age of 16 with a disability or long -term health condition (including mental health) that significantly affects their mobility or ability to look after themselves. Care includes supervision to make sure someone is safe.

Complete Child DLA Form with details of your child’s condition and the extra help that they need. There are no medicals involved and your child does not need a formal diagnosis to apply.

Download the form via DWP website at www.gov.uk or call 0800 121 4600 to request one. This will be dated and if you are successful, backdated to the date you called.

DWP report that processing of new applications and mandatory reconsiderations (where you disagree with their decision) may take longer due to staffing issues. Awards which were due to expire will be extended for 6 months. Social Security Scotland will extend DLA from age 16 to 18 for young people who are due to transfer over to PIP.

DLA is not counted as income so will not reduce your entitlement to means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit, Income Support or Housing Benefit. Depending on the amount your child receives, you may qualify for Carers Allowance, extra additions to Universal Credit or Tax Credits and you may qualify for the Motability Scheme.

Anyone over age16 and under pension age who has significant long-term health problems or disabilities. As with DLA, PIP has daily living and mobility components which have different rates depending on how your condition affects your ability to walk or care for yourself. PIP can continue past pension age if you are already in receipt of it.

The first part of the process is done on the phone and the second part involves a form that asks for details of your health conditions and how they affect you. It is based on a point system, and in most cases, you will require an assessment with a health care professional.

Call 0800 917 2222 to make a claim. You’ll need your contact details, NI Number, bank account details, and details of your GP/health professional.

All face-to-face assessments have been suspended until 24/06/20 at the earliest. If you are awaiting a decision, DWP will contact you for further information. As with DLA, any awards due to end will continue for a further 6 months.

PIP is not means-tested (i.e. not based on income or savings) so claiming will not have a negative effect on any other benefit you receive, such as Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. It may have a positive impact, in that the person who cares for you may qualify for Carers Allowance, or you may be entitled to an extra premium on Universal Credit or Pension Credits. If you receive the enhanced rate of mobility, you will also automatically qualify for a Blue Badge and will be eligible for the Motability Scheme.

AA is a benefit for anyone over age 65 who has serious health conditions (including dementia), and is not already in receipt of PIP. AA has no upper age limit so it will not be withdrawn unless your condition improves. There are only 2 levels of award, as there is no mobility component included in AA.

Complete the form online by going to the DWP website or call 0800 731 0122 to request a claim form. This will be dated from the day of your request and any award backdated. It is not points-based, and there is no face-to-face assessment.

DWP reports that the processing of new applications and mandatory reconsiderations (where you disagree with their decision) may take longer due to staffing issues. Awards that were due to expire will be extended for 6 months.

AA is not based on your income, pension, or savings. As with other disability benefits, you may find that you qualify for Pension Credits, Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Benefit or are entitled to more money from these benefits.

CA is a benefit for carers who are looking after someone who is in receipt of a disability benefit including:

  • DLA care component at the middle or high rate
  • PIP daily living component at either rate
  • Attendance Allowance at either rate.

Other qualifying conditions include:

  • You must provide care for at least 35 hours/week.
  • Be over age 16 (there is no upper age limit but you cannot receive CA and your state pension at the same time)
  • You can work but not earn more than but not earn any more than £128 per week.
  • You cannot be in full-time education.

Complete CA form online or call the Carers Allowance unit on 0800 731 0297 to request one.

During the Covid-19, some flexibility has been introduced to CA rules. Carers are now allowed to take a temporary break from caring if either they, or the person they care for, has been affected. They will also allow the provision of emotional support to count towards your 35 hours care. Social Security Scotland will make an extra payment of £230.10 to every carer in receipt of Carers Allowance in addition to the supplement they receive in June. You do not have to apply for this as it should be paid automatically. This does not apply if you only have an underlying entitlement to CA which means that you qualify but do not receive it as you are getting another benefit like your state pension.

Carers Allowance is not strictly means-tested, however, it is affected by the amount you earn. If you earn more than £128 in one week, you will lose your entitlement completely for the affected week. It does not matter if you have savings or a private pension, but you cannot receive your state pension and also Carers Allowance at the same time. You may qualify for Pension Credits, in which case you will receive a Carers premium on top of your PC, or you may qualify for more help with Housing Benefit or reduction in your Council Tax.

In some circumstances, CA can affect the benefits of the person you care for, so you are always best to seek advice before you apply.

If you’re employed, but unable to work because of ill-health, you may be eligible for SSP. As of 13/03/20 this includes people who have serious underlying health conditions and have received a ‘Shielding Letter’ from the government. You must earn over £120 a week, or if you are on a zero-hours contract, your average earnings must be over this limit.

Your employer will be able to help with this. They may run an occupational sick pay scheme that includes SSP.

If you are sick or shielding due to Covid-19, you will be paid from the first day of sickness rather than the 4th.

SSP counts as income however, if your income is low enough, you may be entitled to other benefits including Universal Credit, and Council Tax reduction. If you have ongoing health problems, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment. Your SSP will finish after 28 weeks and, depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to claim Employment & Support Allowance. This depends on whether you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions in the past 2 years. It is complicated, so it is best to seek professional advice before you make any claims.

UC has replaced 6 benefits including Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Working & Child Tax Credits, Employment & Support Allowance, and Housing Benefit. You can claim it if you are:

  • working, and on a low income
  • unemployed
  • caring for someone
  • have a disability or illness that prevents you from working
  • have housing costs or childcare costs.

It is extremely complicated but the basic criteria states that you must be:

  • aged 18 or above (in most cases)
  • under pension age
  • living in the UK

holding less than £16,000 in savings

Universal Credit must be claimed online by going to www.gov.uk. You will need to create an online account and will need an email address and phone number to sign up. You need information on your bank account, wages, any other benefits you receive, and housing details to hand. You have one month to provide this information, but your claim cannot be processed until all information is provided. If you have a partner, you need to make separate claims which will be linked by a code. You will have an online journal which your job coach will use to contact you. If you struggle with computer literacy, there are a number of agencies that can provide help including Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

UC is not paid until 5 weeks after the date of the claim, so it is important to ask for an advance payment if you are struggling financially. This is not a grant and has to be repaid.

The standard allowance has been increased by £1000/year. This will last for 12 months. You will not need to look for work until 30/06/20 at the earliest (also applies to Jobseeker’s Allowance) or attend face-to-face interviews. Verification of your identity (normally done via face-to-face appointment) is now being done online through the Government Gateway.

If you claim UC because you are unfit to work, you will not have to produce a ‘Fit Note’ at present.


SWF helps people on a low income through the provision of:

  • Crisis Grants
  • Community Care Grants

You don’t have to be in receipt of benefits but must be on an equivalent income. If you have savings of over £700, you are unlikely to qualify.

Crisis Grants cover the costs of an emergency such as an unexpected crisis including fire or flood, domestic abuse, or a gap in normal income due to redundancy or a change at work. The grant can be made to cover urgent living costs such as food and heating. The Scottish Government recognises that this will be the case for many people during Covid-19 and an extra £45m has been made available for Crisis Grants.

Community Care Grants are available to help with the costs of essential items such as cookers, beds and washing machines for people leaving the care system or hospital, or those who may otherwise be at risk of entering care without this help. CCGs can also help families who can demonstrate that they are living with exceptional pressure e.g. caring for a child or adult with a disability or long term health condition.

Visit website www.glasgow.gov.uk/swf for information and online application form. You may also download the form and return to the address on the page or call 0141 276 1177. Normally, Crisis Grants are processed within 24 hours and Community Care Grants in 15 days, however, due to an increase in demand, this is taking longer.

You can apply for a Funeral Support Payment to help with funeral costs if:

  • you live in Scotland
  • are in receipt of certain benefits or tax credits and
  • are responsible for the funeral (you must be the nearest relation to the person who has died and named on the bill)

You can apply until 6 months after the date of the funeral.

Payment will not cover the full cost of the funeral – the average payment is usually around £1500 – but can help towards costs such as burial/cremation, travel costs, documents, or medical costs. The amount paid will depend on how much money was left by the person who died including savings, insurance policies, and funeral plans which will all be taken into account.

Your funeral director may help with your application, but you can apply yourself online at www.mygov.scot/funeral-support-payment. You will need your National Insurance number, bank account details, receipts or bills, and details of the funeral director to hand. Apply by calling 0800 182 2222 or ask for a paper form. Providing you have provided all the required information you can expect a decision within 10 days with payment direct to your bank in 4-5 days.



Contact details of other local organisations who can help with benefits & money advice, housing, and employment rights are listed below.