Disabled people can now access a new advocacy service to help them apply for Scottish social security benefits.

The support is available to disabled people applying for any of Social Security Scotland’s current and future benefits, including child disability payment and adult disability payment.

It also covers payments for families with children, help to pay for a funeral, carers, and young people entering the workplace.

The service will be delivered by the charity VoiceAbility, which has 40 years’ experience in delivering independent advocacy services, and is entirely independent of the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland.

It will provide free and independent advocacy to anyone who identifies as disabled and requires support to communicate. This may include people with a sensory disability, mental health condition or learning disability. 

With funding of up to £20.4m over the next four years, VoiceAbility will create up to 100 new advocacy jobs across the country, with a head office and dedicated training centre in Glasgow.

People looking for support can contact VoiceAbility directly, free, on 0300 303 1660, by visiting voiceability.org, or by calling Social Security Scotland, free, on 0800 182 2222 and asking to be referred to the independent advocacy service.

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson commented: "Accessing social security is a human right, and we have an obligation to do what we can to make sure disabled people are able to get the help they need to access financial support they are entitled to.

"This is why we are investing in an independent and free advocacy service for disabled people who need support to engage with us. This new service will help disabled people be aware of their rights, express themselves and feel understood when applying for Scottish social security benefits."

 

Chief executive of VoiceAbility, Jonathan Senker added: "We are proud to have established a new base in Scotland to provide this independent advocacy service. Our team of skilled advocates will cover the length and breadth of Scotland to provide bespoke support to disabled people to apply for benefits from Social Security Scotland."