The Scottish Government has temporarily changed eligibility for a number of social security benefits;
Best Start grant
Pregnancy and Baby Payment
Early Learning Payment
Funeral Support Payment
Young Carer Grant
This is to help people who are impacted by coronavirus and can’t get an application in on time – due to things such as illness or caring responsibilities – to still get the support that they need.
Changes to carers benefits
Changes have been made by The Scottish Government to carers benefits to make sure carers can continue to access support such as Carers Allowance, paid for by the DWP during the coronavirus outbreak.
Carers will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance from the DWP, even if they are no longer able to provide the required 35 hours care in person because they, or the person they are caring for, are ill or self-isolating as a result of COVID-19. This means that care such as cooking meals and then delivering them, or providing emotional support over the phone will count towards the 35 hours of care.
Social Security Scotland are now able to accept evidence uploaded online
Once someone has submitted an application online, they will get a message guiding them to the new portal to upload evidence.
Accessing Social Security Scotland services
Social Security Scotland are continuing to process applications and make payments. General enquiries can now be made via Social Security Scotland’s social media accounts as follows:
People can continue to access information on Social Security Scotland services and apply online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Social Security Scotland are currently unable to answer incoming calls from clients to the Freephone helpline. However, for clients who are only able to access support by phone, they can leave a voicemail between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and will be called back within 48 hours. Call backs will take place between 8am and 6pm and clients will try to be contacted up to three times.
Social Security Scotland are working to update online forms to reflect change. If a client gets an online warning saying their application is past the illegibility date, they should continue and submit the application to ensure it is processed.
If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to this, please contact one of CHA’s Financial Inclusion Team by using the contact details listed below.