Skip to main content

View our coronavirus (COVID-19) housing advice

Other benefits

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to claim one or more of the benefits listed below.

Attendance allowance

You may be eligible for attendance allowance if you need help with day-to-day living because of a physical or mental illness or disability. This is a non-means tested benefit. To be eligible, you:

  • must be over 65
  • can be living alone
  • don't need to have a carer
  • can be working or not working.

Best Start Grant

Depending on what benefits you receive you may also be eligible to apply for the Best Start Grant. The grant offers financial support during the early years of a child's life and is made up of three payments :

  • Pregnancy and baby payment
  • Early learning payment
  • School age payment

Find out more about the Best Start Grant.

Bereavement benefits

If your husband, wife or civil partner died in the last year you may be entitled to:

  • a bereavement payment, and/or
  • bereavement allowance.

If your spouse has died and you are pregnant or responsible for a child, you may be entitled to:

  • a bereavement payment, and/or
  • widowed parent's allowance.

You can find out more about bereavement benefits here.

You might also be able to get help to pay for the funeral of the person who has died. This is called a funeral support payment.

Carer's allowance

This is a benefit to help people who are unable to work because they care for someone who is severely disabled for at least 35 hours per week. You don't have to be related to or live with the disabled person to claim this benefit. It can affect the benefits of the person you are looking after, so you may want to seek advice before you make a claim. You can claim carer's allowance if you are working but there are restrictions on the amount you can earn each week. You can find out more about carer's allowance here.

You are not prevented from claiming carer's allowance if you are disabled yourself and also need care.

Young carer's grant

Young carer grant is a yearly payment for young carers in Scotland.

To get young carer grant, you must be:

  • 16, 17 or 18 years old
  • have been caring for 1, 2 or 3 people for an average of 16 hours a week for at least the last 3 months
  • If you care for more than one person, you can combine the hours of the people you care for to average 16 hours a week.

Find out more about young carer's grant.

Child benefit

Child benefit can be paid to any person who is bringing up children. You get a set amount for each child, and it is not affected by your income or savings. You will only be entitled to other benefits for a child, or an increase in your benefits because you have a child, if you are claiming child benefit for the child. Find out more on the website.

Cold weather, heating discount and fuel payments

In addition to the 3 payments/discounts below, you may be able to apply for a British Gas Energy Trust grant or Further assistance payment.

Cold weather payments

You may be eligible to receive a Cold weather payment if you claim certain benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit.

Cold weather payments of £25 are given automatically to you if you are eligible and there is a 7-day period of very cold weather (zero degrees Celsius or colder).

Warm home discount scheme

The Warm home discount scheme is a way to get a maximum of £140 discount on your electricity bill. You might be eligible if you:

  • receive the Guarantee credit part of Pension credit.

If you're not eligible for the Warm home discount, you could still get help from your your supplier if you are on a low income or are on certain means-tested benefits. Check if your supplier is on the list of suppliers who are on the scheme, as they have broader scheme that might help you. Each supplier may have different qualifying criteria. Check the Warm home discount scheme eligibility criteria and supplier list. Here are the details of help from two of the biggest suppliers:

Winter fuel payments

If you were born before 5 August 1953 you are entitled to a winter fuel payment. This is a one off payment you'll receive each year. If you're over 80, you'll receive a larger payment.

You only have to make a claim for your first payment. You should then receive payments automatically every year. You can find out more about winter fuel payments on the Pension Service website.

Personal independence payments

Personal independence payment is a benefit for people who have a physical / mental disability and need help participating in everyday life or find it difficult to get around. If you are already claiming disability living allowance you shouldn't have to change over to personal independence payments until 2015. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 or over. To qualify claimants need to undergo a medical assessment.

There are two components to this benefit - Daily living component and Mobility component. Each has two rates, standard and enhanced.

All new claims will claim personal independence payments benefit instead of disability living allowance. You can claim if you are in work or out of work and between the ages of 16 - 64. When claiming the way your disability affects your life will be taken into consideration and the assessment process will usually include an examination by an independent health professional.

Employment support allowance (ESA)

Employment support allowance is a benefit paid to people who have limited capability to work, whether by ill health or disability and who are not entitled to Statutory sick pay (SSP). There are two elements to ESA:

  • Income related - means tested
  • Contributions based - not means tested but have to satisfy National Insurance contributions test.

There is a 13-week assessment phase in which time the claimant will be asked to attend a medical assessment. Claimants will normally be paid the basic allowance during this period. The medical will determine if the claimant has limited capability for work and which group they then qualify for:

  • Work-related activity group (WRAG) - this group is for people who are expected to return to work. You may have to attend work focused interviews or work related activities.
  • Support group - you do not have to undertake work related activities although you can be a volunteer. If you're in the support group the benefits cap does not apply to you.

You can find out more information at or download an easy read guide from the Disability Alliance website.

Statutory sick pay (SSP)

If you are off work because you are unwell and your employer does not give you sick pay, you may be entitled to statutory sick pay. SSP is paid to employees by their employer for up to 28 weeks in any period of sickness lasting from 4 days or more.

Support for mortgage interest

If you are having problems paying your mortgage, you may be able to get support for mortgage interest (SMI) to help pay some of the interest, depending on the rate of the interest. YOu can only get this benefit for two years. SMI can also pay for the interest on loans you have taken out for repairs or improvements. You should also be able to claim SMI if:

  • you or someone in your family is disabled, and
  • you receive or are eligible to receive income support, income based employment and support allowance or income based jobseeker's allowance, and
  • you want to buy a home that is more suitable for your needs.

You can find out more about getting a mortgage if you're a disabled person here.

More information about benefits

To find out more about any of these benefits, visit the A to Z of benefits from Gov.UK.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're in England

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us