I’m Currently receiving Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance but I’m still struggling with my bills and the cost of living. Are there any other benefits I could apply for?

I’m Currently receiving Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance but I’m still struggling with my bills and the cost of living. Are there any other benefits I could apply for?

Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and State Pension benefits are available to eligible citizens across the UK. If you are currently receiving any of these but find you are still struggling with the cost of living, there are benefits exclusively available to Scottish residents which you may be entitled to.

Who manages these benefits?

Social Security Scotland are responsible for managing these benefits to make sure they are correctly received by the people who need them. Social Security Scotland will administer a total of 17 benefits, supporting 1.8 million people and providing approximately £5 billion in payments every year.

Below are some examples of the support available. You will need to be in receipt of certain benefits to qualify for each one.

Support for Parents of Young Children

If you are pregnant or looking after a child, you could be entitled to one of the Best Start Grant payments. This is a package of three payments that will give extra money to parents and carers during the early years of a child’s life. Depending on your circumstances, you could be entitled to receive all 3.

You may be eligible for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment if you have recently had a child, or if you are pregnant. This is a one-off payment of up to £707.25.

If you have a child between the ages of 2 and 3.5 you could get a one-off Early Learning Payment of £294.70.

If your child is about to start Primary school, you could get a one-off School Age Payment of £294.70.

The Scottish Child Payment provides financial support for those with children under the age of 16. Eligible households will receive £25 every week for each child.

The Child Winter Heating Assistance helps families with a child on the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, paying £235.70 on a yearly basis to help them heat their homes.

Support for Young People

If you are between the age of 16-24 and starting a new job, you could be entitled to a one-off payment of up to £294.70 to help with costs involved.

Support for Carers

If you are a carer aged 16-18 you could be entitled to the Young Carer Grant, which is an annual payment of £359.65 for those who care for people who receive a disability benefit.

Support with Funeral Costs

The Funeral Support Payment can provide financial support to those struggling to afford funeral costs. The average payment is £1,800, and while it may not cover the full cost of the funeral, it will go a long way to alleviating the financial worries of it.

How Can I Check My Eligibility?

Advice Direct Scotland’s online benefits calculator allows you to check your eligibility for benefits, including Scottish devolved benefits.

Advice Direct Scotland run advice.scot and can provide advice and information on a range of issues, including employment, housing, benefits, and much more. The team can check your eligibility to benefits, and also help with applications if you need them to.

Further Information

You can contact us on 0808 800 9060, Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm, or alternatively visit www.advice.scot, where you can also find the benefits calculator.

The team can also refer you on to sources of funding support, including the Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund, which can help if you are struggling with energy costs, or rationing fuel to get by.

For more information on the fund, visit www.homeheatingadvice.scot.