If you are sick, disabled or caring for someone who is, you may qualify for certain benefits.

Some of the help available is listed below, any figures shown are 2022/23 rates:

Benefits if your Sick, Disabled or a Carer
Benefit What is it? Who qualifies?
Statutory Sick Pay You can get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work.  It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. You need to qualify for SSP and have been off work sick for 4  or more days in a row (including non-working days). To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must:
  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer,
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days),
  • earn an average of at least £123 per week,
  • tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline - or within 7 days if they do not have one.
Employment Support Allowance You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if  you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. You can only apply for Employment Support Allowance if you either:
  • get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it, or
  • got or were entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible for it.
You may be able to apply for ‘new style’ ESA.
Universal Credit Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly - or twice a month for some people in Scotland. You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
  • you’re on a low income or out of work,
  • you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17),
  • you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is),
  • you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you, and
  • you live in the UK.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit You might get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) if you became ill or are disabled because of an accident or disease either:
  • at work
  • on an approved employment training scheme or course
You may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) if:
  • you were employed on an approved employment training scheme in mainland UK when the accident or event happened,
  • you were employed in a job or were on an approved employment training scheme or course that caused your disease. The scheme covers more than 70 diseases.
Personal Independence Payment Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long term ill-health or disability. You must be aged 16 or over and have not reached State Pension age to claim. You must also have a health condition or disability where you:
  • have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months, and
  • expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months (unless you’re terminally ill with less than 6 months to live).
Attendance Allowance Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. You can get Attendance Allowance if you’ve reached State Pension age and the following apply:
  • you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
  • your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety, and
  • you have needed that help for at least 6 months (unless you’re terminally ill).
Disability Living Allowance - Child

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who has a mental or physical disability.

The DLA rate(s) depend on the level of help the child needs.

They will need to meet all the eligibility requirements.

Your child must be:

  • is under 16, and
  • has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability

Your child will need to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when they turn 16.

From Spring 2022, families living ion Scotland currently getting Disability Living Allowance for children will have their benefit will be transferred automatically to the new Scottish Child Disability Payment. Their payments will not change and will be paid at the same rates and at the same time as their Disability Living Allowance was.

Child Disability Payment

Child Disability Payment (CDP) provides support for the extra costs of looking after a child who has a mental or physical disability. 

The CDP rates depend on the level of help the child needs.


The Social Security Scotland Child Disability Payment is open for first time applications.  Do not apply if you already receive Disability Living Allowance for your child.

Your child must:

  • live in Scotland,
  • be under 16, and 
  • have a mental or physical disability.

You can also apply for Child Disability Payment if the disabled child does not have a diagnosis, by telling about how they're affected and any symptoms they may have.

Social Security Scotland will pay Child Disability Payment until the child is 18.

Carers Allowance

You could get Carers Allowance if you care for someone and are under the earnings threshold of £132 per week. 

If you are a young carer 16-18 and live in Scotland, you may be eligible for a Young Carer Grant

You must care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits

If you do not qualify for this and you care for someone for at least 20 hours a week, you may be entitled to Carers Credit, which is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record.

Macmillan Grant Macmillan Grants are small, discretionary payments to help people with the extra costs that cancer can cause. They are usually a one-off payment. 

They are for people with a cancer diagnosis who have a low level of income and savings.

There may be some other grants available that our advisers can access.

Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit. You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if one of the following is true:
  • you’re getting the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it,
  • you got or were entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible for it,
  • you have reached State Pension age,
  • you live in temporary accommodation, or
  • you live in sheltered or supported housing with special facilities such as alarms or wardens.
If not, you’ll need to claim Universal Credit instead.
Council Tax Reduction Council Tax Reduction can help you pay your council tax if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. You could be eligible if you’re on a low income or claim benefits. Your bill could be reduced by up to 100%. You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working. If you live in West Dunbartonshire you can claim online.
Council Tax Discounts & Exemptions You may qualify for a discount or exemption dependent on your circumstances. Discount or Exemption may apply in the following circumstances:
  • All occupants are classed as 'disregarded persons', i.e. severely mentally impaired, 
  • Your home has been adapted for a disabled person,
  • Your property is empty because you are a long term hospital patient.
Help with NHS Health Costs You may qualify for help with dental care or travel to hospital appointments if you receive certain benefits or are on a low income.  You can pick up the HC1 form for the Low Income Scheme, available from community pharmacies, GP practices, Citizens Advice Bureau and Jobcentre Plus offices.
Winter Fuel Payment This is a lump sum payment to help with heating costs. You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you are eligible and you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit). If you’re eligible but do not get paid automatically, you will need to make a claim.
Cold Weather Payment You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for 7 consecutive days. You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest.
Warm Home Discount A one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March. You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.   There are 2 ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme: How you apply for the Warm Home Discount Scheme depends on how you qualify for the discount. If you have a long term illness or disability, you should speak to your fuel provider about their Priority Service Register.

There are a number of independent benefits calculators to find out , what benefits you could get, how to claim and how your benefits will be affected if you start work, or contact us for advice and support by filling out our online contact form.