News

Supporting Scotland’s unpaid carers

Published: 04 Dec 2020 00:01

Report on Carer’s Allowance Supplement.

 

A new report has revealed that unpaid carers in Scotland have valued increased support.

Carer’s Allowance Supplement (CAS) was the first payment introduced under the Scottish Government’s new social security powers. It is given twice a year to those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance as a temporary top-up until full delivery of the benefit is taken over from the Department for Work and Pensions. The payment rate in 2020/21 is £230.10.

The Scottish Government has now published its first evaluation of CAS - and has announced that the next payment will be made on 18 December.

The evaluation found:

  • CAS has made a positive difference to carers, not just financially but to their mental health and wellbeing
  • while carers feel more recognised by the Scottish Government, they don’t feel as visible to, or valued by, the wider public
  • carers want more chances to undertake work outside the home, to help give them a sense of identity outside their caring role and reduce feelings of isolation

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“This report gives us a greater understanding of what carers want and need, and we’ll use this to help develop Scottish Carer’s Assistance - our replacement benefit for Carer’s Allowance - so that we can meet the needs of carers better.

“There is no doubting the positive impact Carer’s Allowance Supplement has had on carers in Scotland. And I’m happy to announce the next automatic £230 payment will reach carers in time for Christmas.

“In some cases this payment has made a great difference to carers’ mental health and wellbeing, where it has enabled them to pay off debts or been used towards a trip away to give them a much-needed break.

“I know this has been a hard year for many carers which is why we also provided an additional coronavirus supplement of £230.10 this year. This means around 83,000 carers in Scotland will get up to £690 more this year compared to those in the rest of the UK.”

The majority of eligible carers got the coronavirus payment in June but those who have received backdated awards of Carer’s Allowance since the June payment may get it with their CAS payment this month.

Background

The Evaluation of Carer’s Allowance Supplement can be found here and is the first evaluation of the devolved benefits to be published.

The next payments of CAS will be made from Friday 18 December. These are for carers who were resident in Scotland and in receipt of Carer’s Allowance on 12 October 2020. Carers do not need to apply for CAS and those who are due to receive a payment will get a letter from Social Security Scotland with more information. Find out more here.  

The qualifying date for the coronavirus supplement was 13 April 2020. Most eligible carers will have received this payment on 26 June. Those who received a backdated award of Carer’s Allowance after this payment which included the 13 April qualifying date may receive the coronavirus payment this month.

The Scottish Government is engaging with carers and stakeholders to consider improvements to Carer’s Allowance, and will consult early next year on the new Scottish Carer’s Assistance.

All carers in Scotland are now entitled to an adult carer support plan or young carer statement, assessing their individual needs. We also offer the Young Carer Grant, an annual payment of £305.10 for young people aged 16, 17 and 18 who care for someone 16 hours or more each week.

Carers will also benefit from £350 million of funding invested to support communities during the pandemic, including a significant increase in the Scottish Welfare Fund. In addition we have set up a £500,000 fund to support local carer centres transition to remote working during the pandemic.