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Carer Support Payment Pilot

Post Date: 22 September 2023

The new Scottish benefit - Carer Support Payment - will be piloted in three areas across Scotland from November 2023. Applications will open in pilot areas from 20 November, subject to parliamentary approval of regulations setting out rules and eligibility.

Adults living in Perth and Kinross, Dundee City and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, will be the first to be able to apply ahead of phased national rollout from Spring 2024. The benefit will be available nationally by Autumn 2024.

Carer Support Payment will replace Carer’s Allowance, currently administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, and will be provided by Social Security Scotland. It will be the 14th Scottish benefit and is a Programme for Government commitment.

More than 80,000 carers, will be able to receive the benefit in Scotland, including 1,500 carers who are currently unable to access Carer’s Allowance due to studying full-time.

Social Security Scotland are hosting a series of events in October for Stakeholders to allow support organisations to have all the information needed to support clients before the pilot scheme open for new applications.

Carer Support Payment Pilot Launch – Stakeholder Events (online)

Background and further information 

The launch of Carer Support Payment follows the introduction of extra support available for unpaid carers in Scotland through the Carer’s Allowance Supplement in 2018 - this was the first payment made by Social Security Scotland and increases Carer’s Allowance by over 13%. Eligible carers receive a payment every six months, and payments are £270.50 in 2023. Carers continuously in receipt of Carer's Allowance Supplement will have received over £3300 above Carer’s Allowance since the Supplement’s introduction. 

The draft regulations provide that students can get Carer Support Payment if they meet the other eligibility criteria and are:

  • any age and studying part-time (for less than 21 hours a week)
  • 20 or over and studying full-time at any level of education
  • 16 to 19 and studying full-time advanced education.

The Carer Support Payment amount will continue to be paid at the same rate as Carer’s Allowance from launch until case transfers are complete. The current rate of Carer’s Allowance is £76.75 a week.

Carers studying full-time who are currently unable to access Carer’s Allowance will be able to apply for Carer Support Payment as soon as it is available in their local authority area.

Carers in Scotland who are already receiving Carer’s Allowance will not need to make an application for Carer Support Payment. Their benefits will start to transfer automatically from February 2024. Carers will receive information before their benefits transfer to tell them more about what to expect. From launch Carer Support Payment will provide an improved service to carers, joining up with wider services to help carers access information on the wide range of support available to them.

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