The benefits system provides practical help and financial support to individuals, couples and families when they need it.
Are you getting what you're entitled to?
If you are unemployed and looking for work, earning a low income, bringing up children, are retired, care for someone, are ill or have a disability you might be entitled to one of more of the benefits available.
Jobseeker's Allowance – Jobseeker’s Allowance is the main benefit for people of working age who are out of work or work less than 16 hours a week on average. If you're eligible, it is paid while you're looking for work. To get Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be aged 18 or over, it isn't normally paid to 16 or 17 year olds, except in special cases. Find if you are eligible and how to apply on the Direct Gov website.
Income Support - Income Support is a benefit for people on a low income, who don’t have to sign on as unemployed, to help them pay for their day-to-day living costs. You may be able to claim Income Support if you are a lone parent, on parental or paternity leave or are a carer. You can usually claim Income Support only if you are 18 or over.
Housing Benefit – If you're on a low income, whether you're working or not, and need help to pay all or part of your rent, you may be able to get Housing Benefit. Find out if you are eligible and you can apply on the Direct Gov website, or check out our Housing Benefits page for more information.
Council TaxBenefit– Council Tax Benefit is a benefit for people on a low income, whether you are working or not to help them pay their Council Tax. Council Tax benefit is dependent on your household information, and can only be claimed by people 18 and over. Council Tax Benefit is paid by your Local Authority. To find out if you are eligible book an appointment with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or talk to your local council benefits department.
Working Tax Credits- Working tax credits are means-tested and depend on your income. To get Working Tax Credit you must work 16 hours or more a week, be on a low income and either have a disability which puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job or be responsible for a child. Otherwise you need to be aged 25 and over and work 30 hours per week.
Child Tax Credits - Child tax credits are means-tested and depend on your income. If you are 16 and over and responsible for a child, you may be eligible. For more information about Child Tax Credits visit our Becoming a New Parent and Benefits page.
Child Benefit - Child Benefit is a tax-free payment that you can claim for your child. It is available to anyone who is responsible for a child, even if you are not the parent.To find out more about Child Benefit and any other benefits you might be entitled to while you are pregnant or after your child is born, check out Becoming a New Parent and Benefits page.
Disability Benefits - If you are a young person with a disability, there are a number of different benefits and tax credits you might be entitled to. To find out more visit the Adviceguide Scotland website.
Directgov provide a Benefits adviser service on the Directgov website, where you can answer questions about your circumstances to establish whether you are entitled to any benefits. Another good source of information on benefits is the Adviceguide Scotland website.
The government is reforming the welfare system, this means that many benefits will change. To find out more about welfare reform and how it will affect you, please visit our Welfare Wise - What's Welfare Reform page.
From October 2013, a new benefit called Universal Credit from October 2013. Universal Credit will replace Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. There may also be changes to Council Tax Benefit.
We will be updating our information to make sure your stay informed of all the changes.