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Social security

The system of benefits, allowances, tax credits and assistance can be complicated. But don't worry, we're here to help.

Many older people in Scotland do not receive the social security, or benefits, they are entitled to – including one third of older people who are entitled to Pension Credit.

Social security can be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, Social Security Scotland, HMRC, or your council. They may be means tested (which means your income and savings are taken into account), or depend on whether you have health problems or a disability, are a carer, or have served in or have a connection to the Armed Forces.

A benefit entitlement check from one of our friendly and expert helpline advisers can help you to make sure that you are not missing out. The adviser can answer any questions you have, and will use a specialist computer program to work out what you may be entitled to. The benefit check is free and confidential; we won’t give your information to anyone else. Call our helpline on 0800 12 44 222, lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

What is a benefit check?

Our helpline can help you find out what you're entitled to. To find out more about our benefit checks, including what information we need from you, read our handy guide

Age Scotland Benefits Maze

A free guide to claiming social security benefits and grants for older people in Scotland.

Benefit and Pension Changes

Read about the recent and future changes to benefits and social security in Scotland.

Age Scotland Benefits Guides

Pension Credit

Means-tested help to top up your income if you have reached State Pension age, have a low income and little savings

Attendance Allowance

For those who have reached State Pension age and have a physical or mental disability which means that they need help with personal care or supervision

Carer's Allowance

For those looking after someone who receives Attendance Allowance or a similar benefit

Council Tax Reduction

Means-tested help for those on a low income with the costs of their Council Tax bill

State Pension

Based on the National Insurance contributions you have paid or been credited with

Funeral Support Payment

Help with funeral costs for low-income families

Adult Disability Payment

For those who have not yet reached State Pension age, and have a physical or mental disability that affects their ability to carry out day-to-day activities

Universal Credit

Means-tested help to top up your income if you are under State Pension age, have a low income and little savings

Scottish Welfare Fund

Means-tested grants to help in an emergency or to help you live in the community

Benefit workshops

Many older people don’t claim all the income they are entitled to.

Age Scotland wants to raise awareness of the benefits that exist to support older people, and break down the barriers to claiming them.

Our free workshops help older people, and those who support them, to unlock their entitlements.

Order copies of our publications

You can download our guides using the links on this page. To request copies, which will be posted out to you for free, you can use our online publications order form or call the Age Scotland Helpline (0800 12 44 222 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm).

Check your State Pension Age

It used to be 60 for a woman and 65 for a man, but is currently 66 years for both men and women, rising to 67 by 2028.

The Age Scotland Helpline

Our free 0800 12 44 222 helpline is a free, confidential phone service for older people, their carers and families in Scotland. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.


Last updated: Sep 22 2023

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