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Self-advocacy toolkit: how to apply for Social Security Scotland benefit

A toolkit to help you understand the application process, and get help if you need it.

What is this toolkit for?

Once you’ve checked you’re entitled to a benefit, this toolkit can help you with the different stages of your application.

The application or appeals request could be for you, a member of your family, or someone you care for.

This toolkit explains your options, and offers practical tips and resources.

Completing a benefit application

What benefits can I apply for?

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

If you would like more information or want to apply for one of these benefits over the phone, you can do this by calling free on 0800 182 2222.

Information about benefits from Social Security Scotland can be provided in alternative formats by calling free on 0800 182 2222. If English is not your first language and you would like information in another language or to have an interpreter, please also call 0800 182 2222.

Text Relay Service: 18001 0300 244 4000 (for the hard of hearing)

British Sign Language users

How to apply

Apply by phone

You can call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222 to apply over the phone. An advisor can help you apply at your own pace.

If you use British Sign Language, you can use the ContactScotland-BSL mobile app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.

The call centre opening times are Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. The call centre is closed on national bank holidays.

Apply by post

You can apply by filling in a paper form.

If you would like a pre-paid envelope to send documents to Social Security Scotland, call them free on 0800 182 2222 and they will send you one.

If you need a large-print paper form

You can get a large-print paper form by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.

If you do not want to apply in English

Call 0800 182 2222 free to:

  • apply over the phone in any of over 100 languages
  • ask for a paper form to be sent to you in any of over 100 languages

Languages you can request include Urdu, Polish, Scottish Gaelic, and many of the other languages used in Scotland. You cannot apply online in any language other than English.

Apply online

You can apply online for most benefits. You can only apply online in English. The website will also allow you to download the paper form and give you information on how to apply.

Apply online for Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment

To apply online for Child Disability Payment or Adult Disability Payment, you must sign in using myaccount at the links below.

myaccount is a simple, secure way to access a range of Scottish public services online using just one username and password. 

If you have not used the service before, you can register by providing some of your personal information, such as your name, date of birth and address. 

Once registered, you can complete the application form online.

Get help with your application

If you need any extra help, or if you’d like someone else to help you fill in your application, call 0300 303 1660. An advocate from VoiceAbility will be able to help.

Get advocacy support to apply for benefits from Social Security Scotland if you are disabled

If you identify as disabled, you can get free support to access benefits from Social Security Scotland.

This support is available from the moment you want to start an application and is entirely independent from Social Security Scotland.

What is an advocate?

An advocate is an independent professional who is on your side. They can support you to have your say, know your rights and can help you with each stage in the application process, from start to finish.

Advocates don’t work for the government or Social Security Scotland. When you work with an advocate, they will keep things confidential.

What do advocates do?

An advocate will:

  • listen to what you think about what’s happening to you
  • help you say what you want and don’t want
  • help you understand information about your situation
  • explain your options
  • plan with you about what to do next

An advocate will not

  • offer counselling or befriending
  • offer legal advice
  • make decisions for you
  • tell you what to do

What happens after I submit my benefit application?

Supporting information requirements

After you have submitted your application, Social Security Scotland may contact you asking for supporting information. Supporting information might be extra documents that help Social Security Scotland to review your application fully.

If Social Security Scotland has not contacted you for supporting information, then you do not need to submit anything additional at this stage.

If Social Security Scotland has asked you to provide some evidence, you should upload these documents.

What if I can’t upload the documents online?

You can ask Social Security Scotland to get supporting information for you.

Social Security Scotland can approach individuals or organisations for you to ask for information in support of your application. Social Security Scotland will only contact individuals or organisations if you give them permission to do this.

If you’re worried about getting information from a professional or are not sure who you would ask, call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.

The call centre opening times are Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. The call centre is closed on national bank holidays.

Attending a consultation

Adult Disability Payments only

Social Security Scotland may ask you to attend a consultation to talk through your application. This will be requested if it is the only way to obtain additional information to support your application.

The consultation will be held with a Social Security Scotland health and social care practitioner.

You can choose the date, time and location of the consultation.

Your consultation can either be:

  • by phone
  • by video call
  • at a local public venue
  • in your own home

If you need to cancel or change the date of your consultation this must be done at least 24 hours before your consultation appointment.

Call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 or cancel or change your appointment online.

Appealing a decision

After you apply for a benefit, you’ll receive a Notice of Determination letter from Social Security Scotland, explaining the outcome of your benefit application.

You might not agree with the decision. If you don’t agree, you can appeal.

Go to the Voiceability appeals toolkit

Contact us

VoiceAbility is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. We are closed on national bank holidays.

You can call us free on 0300 303 1660.

You can email us at helpline.scotland@voiceability.org.

You can make a referral online, and we’ll contact you.