VoiceAbility Independent Advocacy – Support for Social Security Scotland benefit applications (VoiceAbility)

Who is this for?

  • People aged 18 years old and over

Who provides this?

  • VoiceAbility makes sure people are heard when it matters most. They’ve been supporting people to have their say in decisions about their health, care, and wellbeing for over 40 years. An independent charity and one of the UK’s largest providers of advocacy and involvement services, with local teams around Scotland and England. VoiceAbility provides benefits advocacy across Scotland, our advocates explain the process, help people understand the paperwork, and support with applications, appeals and redeterminations. This support is for disabled people, and people applying on behalf of family or people they care for.


VoiceAbility are commissioned by the Scottish Government to provide a free advocacy service to people across Scotland who identify as disabled and want to access Social Security Scotland benefits. They support people at any stage of their benefits journey. This advocacy support is a legal entitlement under the Social Security Scotland Act of 2018. An advocate will support people to make sure their voices are heard when it matters most, ensuring that more people know and understand their rights when applying for Social Security Scotland benefits.

To receive support from us, a person must be: 

  • Living in Scotland 
  • Self-identify as disabled. 
  • Want to access benefits from Social Security Scotland.  

Edinburgh Unpaid Carers:

Funded by the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership to provide advocacy support to unpaid carers in Edinburgh. Voiceability support any unpaid adult carer who is 18 years or older. The unpaid carer does not need to be a resident of the City of Edinburgh but must be caring for an adult or child who is a resident of Edinburgh. The carer is eligible to receive support from us if they are caring for a person who meets at least one of these criteria: 

  • They have a mental health condition, a diagnosis of dementia, physical disability, sensory impairment, or an acquired brain injury.
  • They are a child or young person receiving services from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
  • They are subject to one of the following Acts: Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007, Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 and Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

How do I access this?

  • Self-referrals

Anyone can make a referral for advocacy support at www.voiceability.org/make-a-referral

Or if preferred, referrals can be made by calling 0300 303 1660, or email helpline.scotland@voiceability.org

Is there a cost?


Is there a waiting list?


Location information

Our advocates work remotely and will visit clients in a location that is accessible to that client. Home visits are possible with two advocates in attendance for anyone who is unable to access public spaces.

Types of support on offer:

Information and advice
Support on the phone

Type of services on offer:

Learning, employability, volunteering
Long term conditions/disabilities

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