5. Money, benefits and legal issues > Money and benefits

Money and benefits

1) Getting benefits advice

Man on the telephone receiving benefits advice

The benefits system is complicated and rules may change with new government laws and national budgets.

There are four main groups of benefits

  • Contributory (You must have paid national insurance contributions – not means tested)
  • Non – contributory (Not means tested -there has to be an eligible need, as defined by government and a set length of residence rule in the UK)
  • Means tested (Which are to supplement income but take into account your capital and savings)
  • Tax credits (Also means tested but there is no limit on the amount of savings you have but interest from those savings will be considered as income)

The benefits system is subject to review and change. It is for this reason that exact amounts for each benefit have not been included on this website. You should be aware that if you are claiming more than one benefit and then claim for another, this may affect the amount of money allowed for your existing benefit claim. Because each person’s circumstances are different you should seek individual advice or help to complete claim forms.

  • Citizens Advice Bureau can give face to face help with benefits and what to claim for. Find your nearest CAB on the Citizens Advice Scotland website or by looking in your local directory. The CAB public advice website also has updated information and down loadable fact sheets.
  • Carer Organisations sometimes help you to apply for benefits or give advice.