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Get free, independent support to access Social Security Scotland benefits

Can I get support?

Advocacy support is available to:

  • anyone in Scotland who identifies as disabled
  • parents, guardians, or carers who are accessing benefits for a disabled child
  • parents, guardians, or carers who are disabled and want support to access social security benefits for their child

What can I get support with?

Advocacy support is available as soon as you want to apply for any Scottish Social Security Benefits, including during the application process and for reviews or any appeals you want to make.

Benefits an advocate can support you with include:

  • Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment
  • Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment
  • Best Start Grant School Age Payment
  • Best Start Foods
  • Carer’s Allowance Supplement
  • Job Start Payment
  • Child Disability Payment
  • Child Winter Heating Assistance
  • Funeral Support Payment
  • Scottish Child Payment
  • Young Carer Grant
  • Adult Disability Payment

My advocate took her time to walk me through the application, and signposted me elsewhere for other applications I asked about.

We can also provide information in other languages and formats. To ask for alternative languages or formats, call us for free on 0300 303 1600 or email

You can also get advocacy support by contacting Social Security Scotland directly for free on 0800 182 2222 and asking to be referred to the Independent Advocacy Service.

What does an advocate do?

Advocacy support is entirely independent from Social Security Scotland and the Scottish government.

An advocate is on your side and can help you to:

  • understand your options and needs
  • ask questions so you can say what you want and have your voice heard
  • identify issues and be fully involved in decisions about your benefits, health and wellbeing
  • complete the process from the point of application, including reviews and any appeals you want to make

An advocate will support you to apply for the right benefits. Your advocate can meet with you over the phone, over video call, or might meet you in person.

Some people might not need to talk things through with an advocate, so one of our advocates can send you a self-advocacy toolkit instead with advice and examples to help you complete the process. An advocate will support you in the way that works best for you, so you can understand what is happening and say what you want.

My advocate helped me fill out all the paperwork, and gave me some good pointers to include which I hadn’t thought about.

I’m not sure that I am disabled

Being disabled can mean different things to different people. You might identify as disabled if you:

  • find it difficult to complete every-day tasks, like washing, dressing, or doing shopping
  • have a long-term physical or mental health condition that can affect your daily life
  • find it difficult to see, hear or speak easily
  • have a learning disability that means you find it difficult to understand some information or make important decisions by yourself
  • use mobility aids or a wheelchair to move around

I found the service very helpful – I had much more knowledge afterwards than I did before speaking to VoiceAbility.

I want some help, but I don’t think I need an advocate

We can still support you. We have a self-advocacy toolkit that is full of helpful guidance that you can use to access benefits from Social Security Scotland. Complete the referral form, or get in touch with us by email or phone. If you’re in Scotland and identify as disabled, we’ll send you a copy of our toolkit. And if you change your mind later, and would like to work with an advocate, you can get back in touch with us at any time.