Benefits and Welfare Advice

We know that for many people, the impact of coronavirus may be financial, as the COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on the economy.

I need help with money, welfare and benefits

Our Information and Advice Hub provide a telephone service offering free, impartial and confidential advice on money, welfare and benefits. Please email informationandadvicehub@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 0900 and ask for the Information and Advice Hub.

I am in financial crisis

If you are in financial crisis, you may qualify for a crisis grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund. A crisis grant is tax free and you don't have to pay the money back. The Scottish Government has made additional funds available to the Scottish Welfare Fund to help people affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic.  If you are no longer able to work or have had your hours reduced, and do not have any savings or other sources of income, we may be able to help. 

The quickest way to apply for a Crisis Grant is online, if you do not have access online call the Scottish Welfare Fund on 0300 123 0900and ask for a Crisis Grant.

You won't qualify for a grant if you have already applied for the same item in the last 28 days, unless your circumstances have changed.

We aim to make a decision on your crisis grant application as quickly as possible.

If you qualify for a grant a you will receive a text message with a code that can be used to redeem a cash award from a PayPoint vendor. Find your nearest PayPoint by searching for your postcode. 

If you have made a claim for a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit and you have not received a payment yet, you should apply for a DWP Hardship Payment, a Short Term Benefit Advance or a Universal Credit advance payment before applying for a Crisis Grant.

Information on Income Related Benefits Available

The DWP Administer income related benefits; you should visit the DWP Website for information on what income benefits you can claim. 

If you are unsure what to claim please email informationandadvicehub@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 0900 and ask for the Information and Advice Hub.

Help Paying Your Rent - Council Tenants

Help and Advice if you are having Difficulty Paying Your Rent

If you are experiencing difficulties paying your rent, please contact your Housing Officer on 0300 123 0900 (select options 2, option 1, ask for housing, then option 2)who will be able to discuss your rent account and offer advice.

If you can, you should continue to pay your rent as normal and you can do this in a number of ways:

  • Direct Debit

You can pay your rent monthly by Direct Debit. For more information, please speak to one of our Customer Service Advisors on 0300 123 0900 or contact your Housing Officer on 0300 123 0900 (select options 2, option 1, ask for housing, then option 2)

  • Standing Order

You can pay your rent by Standing Order. If you opt for this payment method, you will require the Councils Sort Code: 80-12-39, Account Number: 00255371 and your 13 digit rent payment reference,this can be found at the top of your rent increase letter.

  • By Telephone Payment Service

You can make a telephone payment by debit or credit card, calling our automated payment service on 0300 123 0900 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please note, payment should be made by 5pm to reach your account by the following working day.

  • Internet

Online at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk.To pay by this method you will require your 13 digit rent payment reference,this can be found at the top of your rent increase letter.

  • Online/Telephone Banking

To arrange this with your bank you will require the Councils Sort Code: 80-12-39, Account Number: 00255371 and your 13 digit rent payment reference,this can be found at the top of your rent increase letter.

  • At a Post Office/Outlet Displaying Girobank or Paypoint Facility

You can pay by cash, credit or debit card and will require your rent payment card to use this method of payment. Please note payment can take up to 5 days to reach your account. Please refer to the enclosed rent calendar for the last available payment date.

Help With Rents (other than Council Tenants) and Mortgages

I have less income this month and cannot pay my rent

Whether your landlord is a private or social landlord, it is important that you keep in touch with them and let them know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount.

You should visit the DWP Website for information on what income benefits you can claim. 

If you are unsure what to claim please email informationandadvicehub@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 0900 and ask for the Information and Advice Hub.


The Universal Credit /Housing Benefit I get for rent does not cover the full amount of rent I have to pay 

Discretionary Housing Payments can help if you are struggling to pay your rent and have as shortfall between the amount paid in housing costs and your actual rent charge.

To be considered for a Discretionary Housing Payment you must either:

  • be entitled to some Housing Benefit from us; or
  • be getting Universal Credit that includes something towards your housing costs.

You can apply online for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP).

My landlord is going to evict me because I won't be able to pay my rent this month?

Whether your landlord is a private or social landlord, it is important that you keep in touch with them and let them know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount.

You should visit the DWP Website for information on what income benefits you can claim. 

If legal action is being taken against you because you owe money, or are unsure what to claim get free support and advice from our Information and Advice Hub. Please email informationandadvicehub@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 0900 and ask for the Information and Advice Hub.

I can't pay my mortgage, what do I do? 

Home Owners' Support Fund

If you're at risk of having your home repossessed, the Scottish Government's Home Owners' Support Fund may be able to help you.

It's made up of two schemes:

  • Mortgage to Shared Equity - the Scottish Government buys a stake in your property so you can reduce your secured loan(s)
  • Mortgage to Rent - this allows a social landlord to buy your home, and you'll continue to live there as a tenant

Find out more about the Home Owners' Support Fund.

Help to pay mortgage interest

If you're a home owner getting certain income related benefits, you might be eligible for the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme. This is help towards interest payments on:

  • your mortgage
  • loans you've taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home

Visit GOV.UK to find out how to claim SMI.

If you need more help as a home owner experiencing difficulties, this guide may help - Get legal advice

Are you currently Shielding?

The Scottish Government has confirmed they will pause current shielding arrangements from1 August.  Further information and guidance on how this might affect you can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding/pages/changes-to-shielding-advice/  

Reintroduction of medical evidence

As part of the DWPs response to COVID-19, the requirement to provide medical evidence (fit note) to support claims to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and New Style Employment Support Allowance (NSESA) was deferred. They are now reintroducing this requirement on a phased basis. All new claims received from 10 July 2020 for ESA and NSESA must be supported by medical evidence (fit note).


For claims in existence prior to 10 July 2020, medical evidence (fit note) will be introduced gradually and they will write to all of those claimants advising the date from which they are required to provide evidence in the coming weeks.

http://news.dwp.gov.uk/dwplz/lz.aspx?p1=MPADUwMDEyMVMyODE0OkUyMDQzQzU5RjRCRDYzNEI2QUE1RkNCNzRFM0ExMjIz-&CC=&p=0

The Scottish Government will write to families that may be eligible for Best start foods and Best start grants, further information can be found here.   https://www.gov.scot/news/families-to-be-alerted-to-additional-financial-support/