You appear to be using an unsupported browser, and it may not be able to display this site properly. You may wish to upgrade your browser.

Managing your own benefits if you're 16 or over

When you turn 16, you’ll need to start managing your own benefits if you’re able to.

Social Security Scotland will consider you able to manage your own benefits if you can understand, make, communicate, and remember decisions, even if you need help to do this.

If you’re unable to manage your own benefits, then another person will be appointed to manage your benefits and payments for you. This person is called an appointee.

What you'll be responsible for

If you manage your own benefits once you're 16, you'll be responsible for:

  • applying for Social Security Scotland benefits
  • answering letters, emails and phone calls about these benefits
  • telling Social Security Scotland about changes in your circumstances

You’ll also be responsible for:

  • getting your benefit money
  • spending the money
  • paying back overpayments if Social Security Scotland pay you too much

You'll need a bank account that your benefit money can be paid into. The Young Scot website has more information about:

Help with managing your benefits

You can get help with managing your benefits. This could include:

  • help from your friends, family, and support workers
  • an independent advocate – someone who can listen to and understand your wishes
  • professional advice and support


You may not be able to manage your benefits because of a disability. If so, Social Security Scotland will allow someone else to do it for you. This could be your parent or guardian, or someone else.

Your parent or guardian will need to apply to be an appointee. They won’t be made one automatically if you’re unable to manage your own benefits.

If someone else (including a parent or guardian) applies to be an appointee for you, Social Security Scotland will need to arrange a face-to-face visit. They can organise the visit to suit your needs. If possible, one of their trained staff will talk to you both. This will help them make sure they’re doing the best thing for you.

Find out more about how someone can apply to become an appointee.

If you already have an appointee to manage your Social Security Scotland benefits, then there’s nothing else you need to do just now. Your appointee can apply for Adult Disability Payment on your behalf.

Back to top