News

Support to access benefits if you are disabled

Section: The ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 19th April 2022
Social Security

VoiceAbility are providing support for people with disabilities to apply for benefits from Social Security Scotland.

If you identify as disabled, you can get free support to access benefits from Social Security Scotland. This support is available from the moment you want to start an application and is entirely independent from Social Security Scotland.

An advocate can help you to:
● understand information about your rights, and options
● ask questions so you can say what you want, have your voice heard and represent yourself
● be fully involved in decisions about your benefits
● complete the process from the point of application, including reviews and any appeals you want to make

What does an advocate do?

An advocate is an independent professional who supports people to have their say, be heard, and understand their rights. They do not work for Social Security Scotland or the Scottish government and they have no role in assessing or deciding people’s benefits.

An advocate will support you to apply for benefits. Your advocate can meet with you over the phone, over video call, or might meet you in person. An advocate will support you in the way that works best for you so you can understand what is happening and say what you want.

Your advocate will:
● listen to you and be on your side
● talk with you about your options
● plan with you what you want to do
● represent you, if you are not able to represent yourself

Your advocate will not:
● offer counselling or be your friend
● offer legal advice
● make decisions for you
● provide advice or tell you what to do
● make any decisions about what benefits you get

To find out more about advocacy support or to ask for an advocate, VoiceAbility’s website has lots of information. The easiest way to get an advocate is by visiting the website (this link will take you away from our website). You can also call VoiceAbility for free on 0300 303 1660 or email helpline@voiceability.org (this link will take you away from our website).

You can also contact Social Security Scotland about advocacy for free on 0800 182 2222.

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