Other Benefits which may help

Universal Credit

You can apply for Universal Credit (UC) if you’re on a low income regardless of your employment status (employed, self-employed, if you are sick or a carer). UC can also top-up the other benefits included in this leaflet, depending on your situation.

The amount you receive will depend on your individual circumstances, for example the number of people in your household, other income and savings you may have. UC applicants may also be eligible for an additional element to help with housing costs, i.e. your rent.

If you are working, UC can help with the costs of childcare, no matter how many hours you work. You may be able to claim up to 85 per cent of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for UC and meet some additional conditions.

Successful applicants will receive payment after five weeks. Advance payments are available if you need help with bills or other costs during this period.

If you receive UC, you may be able to get some extra support, for example: 

Find out more about Universal Credit or apply.

It is important to seek advice when considering applying for UC if you currently receive any other benefits such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related), Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based), Tax Credits, Housing Benefit. Your current benefit will stop when you apply for UC and you will be unable to revert back to your original benefit. Please be aware that any amount you receive under UC could be lower than your current benefi

Advice is available for anyone considering applying for the first time, from Citizens Advice Scotland‘s (CAS) Help to Claim service. Their trained advisers can guide you through the process, whether you’re looking for answers to quick questions or step-by-step support to make your claim. 

Find out more about the CAS Help to Claim service.

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid to employees who are off work because of sickness for longer than three consecutive workdays. Some categories of employees are not eligible for SSP, so it’s always best to check the full qualifying criteria at www.gov.uk.

If an employee is unable to work due to medical reasons for longer than 28 weeks, entitlement to SSP ends, but you may be entitled to New Style Employment and Support Allowance (NSESA). If you earn less than £123 a week or are self-employed you won’t be eligible for any form of sick pay, unless you have separate insurance. In both these cases, the options will be to apply for one or both of UC or NSESA.

While you can’t claim SSP and ESA at the same time, you can start your ESA claim up to three months before your SSP ends. It’s worth applying for ESA early so your payments start as soon as possible if it looks like your illness or injury will keep you off work long-term.

Depending on the nature of your illness, you may also be able to claim other benefits like Adult Disability Payment or Attendance Allowance.

Find out more about Statutory Sick Pay.

New Style Employment and Support Allowance (Contribution Based)

If you’re employed but you can’t work due to ill health, you’ll usually get SSP from your employer for 28 weeks. After that, if you are ill or have a health condition or disability that limits your ability to work you may be able to apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance (Contribution Based) (NSESA(CB)).

NSESA(CB) can be claimed on its own or at the same time as some other benefits, for example Universal Credit (UC). If you claim both benefits, your UC payment is reduced by the amount you get for NSESA(CB).

NSESA(CB) is a contributory benefit. Normally, this means you may be able to get it if you’ve paid or been credited with enough National Insurance (NI) contributions in the two full tax years before the year you’re claiming in. You can also apply for NSESA(CB) if you’re self-employed. The application process is the same.

If you qualify, you can get NSESA(CB) for up to 12 months, or indefinitely if assessed as having a serious health problem.

Find out more about NSESA(CB) or apply.

New Style Job Seekers Allowance (contribution based)

If you’re unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week you may be able to claim New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (Contribution Based) (NSJSA(CB)). You can apply for this on its own or at the same time as UC. If you qualify for both NSJSA(CB) and Universal Credit (UC), any NSJSA(CB) you receive will be taken into account as income for UC.

NSJSA(CB) is a contribution based benefit. Normally, this means you may be able to get it if you’ve paid and/or been credited with enough National Insurance (NI) contributions in the two full tax years before the year you’re claiming in.

If you qualify, you can get NSJSA(CB) for up to 182 days.

Find out more about NSJSA(CB) or apply.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit (PC) gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over state pension age and on a low income. PC is separate from your State Pension.

PC comes in two parts, Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit and you may be eligible for one or both parts

You may also be eligible if you have other income, savings or assets or own your own home.

Claiming PC doesn’t just top-up your income, it could help you unlock access to other support too for example:

  • help with health costs such as free NHS dental treatment, help with the cost of glasses and transport to hospital
  • if you have a disability you may get an extra amount known as Severe Disability Addition
  • help with housing costs, whether you rent or own your home
  • you probably won’t have to pay Council Tax (unless other people live with you)
  • if you’re 75 or over, you can get a free TV licence
  • you’ll be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment during particularly cold weather

Find out more about Pension Credit or apply.

Attendance Allowance

If you are over state pension age and could benefit from help with personal care, or have a physical or mental illness, you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance (AA). You do not have to have someone caring for you to apply.

AA is paid at two different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care you need. Any money you receive does not need to be spent on your care and it is not means-tested so your savings or income won’t affect your application.

When completing the application form, be clear about how your illness or disability affects your life and attach any supporting information, such as GP letters, care plans, or prescription lists. The application form can be daunting, so if you need advice, one of our Financial Inclusion Advisers can provide you with some help to complete this.

If you are awarded an AA, it can help you get other benefits such as Pension Credit (PC), Housing Benefit (HB), or Council Tax Reduction (CTR) or an increase in these benefits if you’re already receiving them.

Download an Attendance Allowance application form.