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Welfare Rights

Welfare Rights helps people to access their full entitlement to Government benefits. We call this income maximisation. 

Our Money Matters team provides free and confidential advice on entitlement to welfare benefits. 

Who can Welfare Rights help?

Anyone experiencing financial difficulties but particularly:

  • carers
  • people out of work
  • individuals with long term health conditions
  • people facing redundancy
  • kinship carers
  • single people and families in work but on low incomes
  • parents of disabled children

What kind of help?

Our team can:

  • make claims for backdated benefits
  • start new claims for benefits
  • carry out benefit checks
  • help with completing complex forms
  • provide appeal representation
  • provide training
  • undertake financial capability checks 
  • give advice on benefit sanctions

Accessing the Welfare Rights Service

We take referrals from:

  • social workers
  • health staff
  • voluntary agencies.

Welfare Rights staff will arrange a telephone interview. You may be referred to a partner agency, or offered an appointment in a local Health and Social Care Partnership office. Home visits may be available if you are unable to visit a local office. Contact us for advice, or to make a referral. 

Appealing a benefit decision

If you disagree with a benefit decision you must ask for a Mandatory Revision within 1 month of the date of the decision. If the decision is not changed you can appeal - within a month of the review decision. When you appeal you must enclose a copy of the Mandatory Revision Decision. Appeals should be in writing, on form SSCS1. For help or advice on appealing a benefit decision, telephone the Money Matters helpline on 01294 310456.

We can provide representation at your tribunal or refer you to another advice agency if appropriate. We can't guarantee to represent as the Court Service no longer has a local venue for hearings. Very occasionally an appeal cannot be supported because it is contrary to all the facts and evidence eg. your own medical evidence.

Sanctions

Many people have been affected by decisions to 'sanction' their payment of Employment Support Allowance or Job Seekers Allowance. These decisions can be challenged by asking for a Mandatory Review or appealing. For more information, download our Benefit Sanctions leaflet (PDF, 119kb).

Ayrshire Macmillan Benefit Service

Our specialist Macmillan team deals with individuals affected by cancer. If your diagnosis is terminal you are entitled to have your application for DLA and ESA fast tracked. 

The Ayrshire Macmillan Money Matters Adviser can help you: 

  • apply for social security benefits and tax credits – to maximise your income
  • appeal against benefit decisions
  • with fuel costs
  • access charitable grants
  • with costs such as travel to hospital
  • apply for transport concessions such as the Blue Badge
  • manage debt issues

Contact details

We have advisers based in Crosshouse Hospital, Ayr Hospital and within North Ayrshire. We offer a home visiting service. We can signpost you to council services such as occupational therapy and care at home as appropriate. To access our service please call 01294 310456.