The service – 0800 111 4000 – is designed for people without family or community support and unable to go online.
Online support is available on readyscotland.org.
The helpline, which launched on Tuesday, April 14, is initially open from 9am to 5pm but there are plans to extend these hours in the future.
Callers will automatically be put through to their council, which will help them access the help they need such as food and medicine, social work services, emotional support and contact with volunteer groups.
Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell said: “The coronavirus outbreak is impacting all our lives but for some it is more than a disruption – it is a severe restriction on their ability to access food, medicine or other essential services.
“This national helpine will allow our most vulnerable, who do not have a network support group, to access the essential help they need.”
COSLA president Councillor Alison Evison added: “These are unprecedented times. Coronavirus is having an impact on all our daily lives – but for many without any support network it is even worse.
“This national helpline and support arrangements will provide reassurance to our most vulnerable citizens. It is there to support those who are at home with nobody around to help them and with no other way of seeking local assistance. It will allow them to immediately access the essential help they need.
“The approach to getting this helpline up and running has been multi-agency and I would like to thank not only council chief executives and their staff for the work they have done, but our other partners, volunteers and the third sector too. I hope it gives many residents, struggling alone in very challenging situations, the reassurance they deserve at this incredibly difficult time.”