There may be other forms of help available.

Some of the help available is listed below:

Concessionary Benefits and Other Help
Benefit What is it? Who qualifies?
Tax Credit Migration


Tax Credits are ending, and you will  have to claim Universal Credit instead.  

Managed migration is taking place and you will receive a letter called a Universal credit Migration Notice from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) explaining what you’ll need to do, and by when.

Discretionary Housing Payment Discretionary Housing Payments can provide extra money when your council decides that you need extra help to meet your housing costs.

Anyone who needs more help with housing costs and is currently claiming:

  • Housing Benefit or
  • Universal Credit with housing costs towards rental liability.

You can apply through your local authority.

Crisis Grant/Community Care Grant The Scottish Welfare Fund helps families and people in Scotland who are on low incomes through Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.

You can apply for a:

  • Crisis Grant – if you're in crisis because of a disaster (like a fire or flood), or an emergency (like losing your money or an unexpected expense), or
  • Community Care Grant – to help you or someone you care for to start to live, or to carry on living, a settled life in the community.

You can apply through your local authority.

Budgeting Loan

A Budgeting Loan can help pay for:

  • furniture or household items (for example, washing machines or other ‘white goods’)
  • clothes or footwear
  • rent in advance
  • costs linked to moving house
  • maintenance, improvements or security for your home
  • travelling costs within the UK
  • costs linked to getting a new job
  • maternity costs
  • funeral costs
  • repaying hire purchase loans
  • repaying loans taken for the above items

To get a Budgeting Loan you must have been getting one or more of these benefits for the past 6 months:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
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.
Winter Heating Payment

Winter Heating Payment is to help people on low income benefits who might have extra heating needs. Social Security Scotland pays this to people living in Scotland.

You can apply online or by telephone on 0800 182 2222.

It replaces the Cold Weather Payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and has the same eligibility requirements. 

Unlike the Cold Weather Payment, Winter Heating Payment does not depend on how cold the temperature gets.

Child Winter Heating Payment

Child Winter Heating Payment used to be called Child Winter Heating Assistance.

Child Winter Heating Payment is a benefit from the Scottish Government.

You can apply online or by telephone on 0800 182 2222.

Children and young people in Scotland can get the assistance if they're under 19 years old and get one of the following 'qualifying benefits':

  • the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment
  • the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance for children
  • the enhanced daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment 

They must be getting this on at least one day in the third full week of September.

 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.
Energy Advice Free and impartial advice on how to reduce energy usage, find the best supplier and tariff, assist with fuel debt issues and access to grants for boilers, insulation and heating.

You can access help from West Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau, 

by calling Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282, or



Make your home warmer | Home Energy Scotland The Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund offers financial support to people who are struggling with energy bills.
Anyone who is struggling to meet their fuel costs can apply to the fund. You will need to have had money or energy advice from an accredited agency, this helps to make sure any money awarded will be as effective as possible for your situation. 
Emergency Food Aid You can find information on local food banks who provide emergency food parcels. Anyone can access these services.
Help with Health Costs You may qualify for help 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.

There are a number of agencies who can provide information and support on employment and employment related issues.

Blue Badge

A Blue Badge lets you park closer to your destination. It can also help you stay active and independent.

You can apply online or contact your HSCP for a paper form.

If you're a driver or a passenger and you have mobility issues, you may be eligible for a Blue Badge.
Concessionary Travel

Free bus travel for people under 25 or over 60 or with a disability throughout Scotland.

Some disabled people will be able to get a card that allows them and a companion to travel free and people with visual impairments can also access free rail transport you can apply online with SPT.

You may be able to get a concessionary bus pass if you are:
  • aged 60 and over,
  • are disabled or have a long term health condition, or
  • Aged under 25.
Certain other groups of people may qualify.
CEA card A card that enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema. The person requiring assistance must be 8 years of age or older and be in receipt of certain benefits, or have one of the following:
  • Severely Sight Impaired Registration (formerly Registered Blind),
  • Sight Impaired Registration (formerly Partially Sighted).
Motability Scheme You can exchange your qualifying mobility allowance for a brand-new car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, scooter or powered wheelchair, so you can enjoy more freedom and independence. You will be eligible as long as you receive a qualifying mobility allowance with at least 12 months left.
Vehicle Road Tax Exemption  Exemption from or a reduction on Vehicle Road Tax if you have a disability. You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get the: The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name or their nominated driver’s name.
Going into Care Care homes provide 24 hour care.  You can find out information on Residential and Nursing Care. An Assessment of your care needs is an important step in deciding if you need to move to sheltered housing, or a care home.
Power of Attorney/ Guardianship

A power of attorney is a legal document which allows you to plan for the future. It's drawn up when you have the capacity to do so.

It gives another person, known as the attorney, the authority to deal with aspects of your affairs. This could relate to financial/property matters and/or personal welfare.

The power of attorney document must be certified by a solicitor or a medical practitioner, and cannot take effect until they've been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

There are two types of power of attorney:

  • Power of attorney relating to your financial/property affairs is known as a 'continuing power of attorney' and may be given with the intention of taking effect immediately and continuing on you becoming incapable. Or you can decide you only want it to begin if you become incapable.

  • Welfare power of attorney allows someone you have appointed to make welfare decisions for you, and these powers cannot be exercised until such time as you have lost the capacity to make these decisions.

Advocacy ADVOCACY is about giving people a stronger voice. It helps individuals speak up for themselves to make their wishes known, understand the options open to them and know their rights. Lomond & Argyll Advocacy Service (usually known as ‘LAAS’) is an independent, free and confidential advocacy organisation operating in the West of Scotland.
Self Directed Support

For those who are eligible to access social care services and support; Self-directed Support (SDS) gives you further choice and control over the support you receive.

You will find further information on the West Dunbartonshire Council website

Your eligibility will need to be assessed by a social worker or care manager much care and support is required.

You can visit the West Dunbartonshire website for a wide variety of information on housing options

There is also advice if you are homeless or going to be homeless.

You can also get independent housing advice from Shelter Scotland

General Enquiries about council services General information on council services can be made online or by telephone to West Dunbartonshire Council Contact Centre.  
 Legal Aid Legal aid can help meet the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal. Whether you qualify for legal aid will depend on:
  • the type of case, and
  • your financial circumstances.
 Help with Veterinary Costs Free or low cost PDSA veterinary treatment. Check the PDSA eligibility checker to see if you qualify.
Other Cost of Living Support West Dunbartonshire Council currently have a range of support and advice available to those affected by the cost of living crisis.