Alyn Smith MP
Social Security (Benefits) Factsheet
Alyn Smith MP: Social Security (Benefits) Factsheet
The pandemic has had a substantial impact on work and health. If you are unable to work or your income has been affected by Covid-19 there may be financial help available. There are also various other benefits available for various other reasons. That is why it is important to know what benefits you are entitled to and how best to access them.
The social security system in the UK is quite complex, with different benefits provided by different authorities. This guide aims to give you an overview of advice services that will help you to find the support that you need. It will then briefly look at the types of benefits that are available for different people and where to apply for them.
When you are enquiring about benefits it is very useful to have the information that you need to hand. Generally, information about savings, income, pension, childcare payments and any existing benefits that you (or your partner) receive.
There are three main benefit calculators: Turn2us, Entitledto, Policy in Practice. These are online calculators that will tell you what you may be entitled to. If you are under 18, only the Policy in Practice calculator will work for you.
It is also important to know that these calculators will not give you accurate information if you are:
- A student
- Not a British or Irish citizen
- On strike
- Living outside the UK
- Living permanently in residential care or a nursing home
- A prisoner
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
CAB is a good starting point if you want to know what you are entitled to. You can arrange to talk to an advisor at your local bureau, call 0800 085 7145 (calls are free, lines are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm)
Stirling Council Advice Services and Welfare Reform
Advice Stirling offers free, confidential and impartial money, debt and benefit advice for those living within the Stirling area. Their advisors can help:
- Maximise your income by checking what benefits you are entitled to, including
- Supporting you to apply for benefits or appeal against benefit decisions
- Applying for help from the Scottish Welfare Fund for a community care grant or crisis
- Referrals to the local Foodbank
- Applications for other charitable grants, that may be appropriate
- Looking at ways of increasing income and reducing expenditure
You can get in touch with Advice Stirling by email@example.com by calling 01786 233 528.
Scottish Government Benefits and Grants
The Scottish Government controls certain benefits but also provides funds and grants that are only available in Scotland. This site provides details and how to apply for:
- Low income pandemic payment
- Self-Isolation Support Grant
- Scottish Welfare Fund
- Funeral Support Payment
- Best Start Grant
- ILF Scotland Transition Fund
- Job Start Payment
- Young Carer Grant
- Child Winter Heating Assistance
- Scottish Child Payment
- Carer’s Allowance Supplement
- Other funds including short term assistance
Universal Credit (UC)
Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.
You can apply for UC online and you will need:
- your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
- an email address
- information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
- details of your income, for example payslips
- details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
- details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
- driving licence
- debit or credit card
University of Stirling Student Services Hub
The Student Services Hub brings lots of services together to help you resolve a whole range of queries through a single point of contact, easily access the services you need, and thriveduring your time at the University of Stirling.
Live chat is available through the University Portal, you can contact the Hub by phone: 01786 466 022 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Income Maximisation Services
Contact details: Kevin McGhee on 07464 543155 or emailKevin@rsha.org.uk
Contact details: Tracy Doran 01786 446066 or (direct dial) 01786 431921 or email: email@example.com
Income maximisation services aim to help people achieve their maximum possible entitlement to welfare benefits. They give advice and help on a range of different benefits. Their services are free, confidential and independent of the benefit authorities.