Acting on behalf of someone claiming benefits

Last updated: 29 April 2019

You can apply for the legal right to deal with the benefits of someone who can't manage their own affairs. This is known as becoming their 'appointee'.

Someone might need an appointee if they are not physically or mentally able to manage their own affairs.

Applying to become an appointee

You can apply to Social Security Scotland to become an appointee. You just need to let Social Security Scotland know your details on the Best Start Grant paper form, or call to apply over the phone.

Best Start Grant includes the Pregnancy and Baby Payment and the Early Learning Payment.

If you apply for Best Start Grant and are already acting as an appointee with Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), we'll send you a statement to sign and return to confirm that you are happy to act as an appointee for Social Security Scotland.

If you're not someone's appointee for a DWP benefit, we will arrange a visit with you and the person you want to be an appointee for. This is to confirm they need an appointee.

If you do not need to apply to become an appointee because you already have the legal right to act for someone, such as you're their Guardian or have Power of Attorney, we may ask to see proof. Social Security Scotland will let you know if you need to send copies of any proof if you're acting for someone else when applying for a benefit.

Applying to Social Security Scotland

If you want to become an appointee when you apply for Best Start Grant, you can do this by:

  • calling 0800 182 2222
  • if you're filling in the paper form, ticking the box on page 5 that says you'd like to be someone's appointee

You cannot apply to become someone's appointee online.

What you need to do as an appointee

As an appointee you must:

  • make sure all details are correct when you apply for a benefit, and make sure that they're kept up to date
  • make sure the money you get for someone is spent towards their care or to help them
  • tell Social Security Scotland if you want to stop being an appointee

Giving guidance, advice or support to someone

If you're a welfare rights or other organisation, and you're only giving advice and support to someone, you do not need to include your details in the Best Start Grant form. The person you're giving support to must sign the form themselves. If you wish to speak to Social Security Scotland on behalf of someone, that person must give their clear consent for Social Security Scotland to talk to you. The person can do this over the phone.