We know many people have money worries at the moment. Therefore, it is important for you to understand the benefits that you might be eligible for.
We have summarised how to access some benefits. Additionally, we have outlined changes that you might be able to expect if you are currently receiving benefits.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- All reviews and face to face assessments are on hold for three months, this might be extended
- The DWP have not yet announced anything which indicates that they are not accepting new claims, this could change
- There may be a delay to receiving decisions as the DWP have focussed a significant number of their staff on Universal Credit applications
- To find out more about PIP, please visit gov.uk/pip.
- You have to apply online by setting up an account, you will not be able to apply over the phone.
- The website is busiest between 11am and 2pm. You should try and avoid going on at this time, as it could take longer. After 9pm the website is much quieter.
- You will then have to phone the DWP’s Universal Credit team to set up a telephone appointment with a work coach.
- the local job centre will try to call individuals back who cannot get through as the DWP are so busy.
- Do not attend your local job centre in person as they are closed to the public.
You should contact the Universal Credit helpline if:
– you cannot use digital services at all
– you have a question about your claim and cannot access your online claim.
Universal Credit helpline: 0800 328 5644. You can also contact your local authority or Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) if you need support applying for Universal Credit online.
Our Welfare Rights Officers are extremely busy at the moment and will not be able to make initial claims for Universal Credit. Please get in touch with our Welfare Rights Officers if:
- You are being assisted with an ongoing Universal Credit case
- You have been rejected for Universal Credit
- Your benefits have been stopped
You can get in touch with our Welfare Rights Officers by calling our Helpline 0808 800 2200, Office 0141 427 4911 or sending us a message on social media.
Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
- You may be able to apply for ESA if you are ill or have a health condition or disability that limits your ability to workand you have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions in the qualifying period
- ESA is a fortnightly payment and can be claimed alongside Universal Credit or on its own.
- If you are already receiving Universal Credit, you can apply through your online Universal Credit account.
- If you are not receiving Universal Credit, you will have to call the DWP, 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2)
- Once your application has been submitted, you will then get a text, phone call or letter within 10 working days to arrange your telephone interview
- If your application is successful, you will receive the initial assessment rate. As all assessments have been suspended, you will not get the higher rate which comes after assessment.
- To find out more about ESA please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance.
Scottish Welfare Fund
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 are in crisis because of a disaster (like a fire or flood), or an emergency (like losing your money or an unexpected expenseor COVID-19 related hardship). The Government has made additional funds available and have waived the general restriction of 3 grants per year during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- 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
This is administered by your local council not the DWP, Scottish Government or Social Security Scotland Agency.