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More financial support for carers

Published: 05 Jun 2019 11:57

Carers get more support in Scotland than rest of UK

More than 83,000 carers in Scotland will this year get an extra £452.40 in Carer's Allowance Supplement as a result of Scottish Government spending.

Carer’s Allowance Supplement is a social security payment made to people who provide regular and substantial care to disabled people in their own homes.

The supplement was introduced by the Scottish Government last year and this year it will increase by 2.4%. The majority of carers will get their next payment on 24 June.

The increase means that carers in Scotland will receive £452.40 more this year than equivalent carers in the rest of the UK.

Importantly, the increase means that Carer’s Allowance combined with Carer’s Allowance Supplement payments in Scotland are now higher than Jobseeker's Allowance. Whereas in the rest of the UK it remains the case that carers get less support than people in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance.

Speaking on a visit to Glasgow East End Carers Centre, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Carers make a vital but often unsung contribution to society and the Scottish Government greatly values the role our carers play. That is why this Government is investing £320m to support them.

”Carer’s Allowance Supplement was the first payment we introduced through our new public service, Social Security Scotland.

“Our commitment to uprating these payments sees the amount of support provided to carers exceeding Jobseeker’s Allowance for the first time this year.

“This means that in Scotland it is no longer the lowest of the working age benefits available – and this brings to an end the long-standing injustice of carers being penalised for their caring.

“This progressive and distinctly Scottish approach stands in stark contrast to the regressive approach of the UK Government, which through its benefit freeze is implementing a huge real-terms cut to people’s income, leading to a catastrophic impact on their lives.

” It was lovely to hear from the carers how these extra payments are making a difference to their lives.”

Julie Johnstone from Glasgow, who cares for her adult son who has a learning difficulty, said:

“It is a good because I have a bit of money that I can treat myself. It's nice to be able to say to my husband or a friend to go out for lunch. It means that I can do things that I would otherwise need to save up for.”

Nicola Richardson from Glasgow, who cares for her child with autism, said:

“We got one payment just before Christmas – it let us spoil the kids a bit more.

“I think the next carer’s supplement, I am planning on spending it on a gorilla gym for my children, which attaches to the door frame and has a pull up bar and a swing.  On a sensory level that will be amazing for my children. I think that they’ll love it over the summer.

“I’m definitely going to treat myself as well. As a carer I definitely need it!”

Background

  • carers who were getting Carer’s Allowance on Monday 15 April will receive £226.20 in the June payment round
  • carers will receive letters from Social Security Scotland between 20th June 2019 and 21st June 2019 to confirm details of their payment
  • the qualifying date is required by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide the details of those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance so that Social Security Scotland can make the payment
  • carers are not required to do anything to receive this payment as, if eligible, it will happen automatically and be paid using the same method that people get their Carer’s Allowance from the DWP
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is an unemployment benefit you can claim while looking for work