Social Security Scotland is committed to delivering a social security system which is inclusive and treats people with dignity, fairness and respect, and wants to highlight the benefits those with sight and hearing loss may be eligible for, as well as the extra support available for accessing and applying for social security.
Deafblindness is a combination of sight and hearing loss where most people have some sight and hearing left. Everyone's experience of deafblindness is unique, and it affects communication, mobility and mental health in different ways.
Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment provide financial support to disabled people to mitigate the additional costs of living with a disability or health condition. The money can be used as the individual chooses. It might, for example, be used to cover everyday costs such as travel or heating or be spent on more specialist things such as screen reading technology, guide dog training or sensory toys.
Social Security Scotland is committed to ensuring that the social security system is as accessible as it can be, which is why information about Social Security Scotland support is available in different formats.
For example, deafblind people applying for a Social Security Scotland benefits can ask for communications sent to be written in braille or large print.
Letters can also be sent in an alternative format such as an audio recording or Easy Read.
Social Security Scotland also runs a text Relay Service, which people can access by dialling 18001 +0300 244 4000 to support those who are hard of hearing.
Teams of specially trained Client Support Advisers are based in every Local Authority area in Scotland. They can help clients to complete online or paper application forms, offer support with identification and document verification and help with submitting change of circumstances information.
People with sight and/or hearing loss can book an appointment with local advisers at a time, place and venue that suits them. Appointments can be made either in their own home, in person at one of our local outreach venues, over the phone, by video call or by visiting the Social Security Scotland Head Office at Agnes Husband House, in Dundee.
We can also arrange support from Interpreters and Communicator Guides to support deafblind adults get access to the information and support they need to.
If deafblind people need extra support to apply for our benefits, they can also get support from the Independent Advocacy Service, delivered by VoiceAbility, who provide advocacy throughout the whole of the process from the point of application, through to any request for redetermination and appeals.
People can access this support by contacting VoiceAbility directly for free on 0300 303 1660 or by visiting VoiceAbility.
Alternatively, they can ask to be referred by calling 0800 182 2222.
VoiceAbility provide information in various formats, including British Sign Language.