Benefits for carers

Cost of living crisis: find out what help is available

Carers and social security

Unpaid carers provide vital support to the people they care for and to Scotland as a whole. Caring can be a rewarding and positive experience for both the carer and the cared-for person. However, caring is also associated with a higher risk of poverty, poor mental wellbeing and physical health, and can restrict social, education and employment opportunities.

We want to help carers protect their health and wellbeing, so they can continue to care if they wish, and have a life alongside caring. Carer benefits, while not a payment for care, can help achieve this. We are committed to improving support for carers with our social security powers.

Read more about benefits currently administered by Social Security Scotland on

Carer Support Payment 

Carer Support Payment (formerly known as ‘Scottish Carer’s Assistance’) will replace Carer’s Allowance in Scotland. This support has been developed to deliver an improved service, designed with carer and support organisations to meet the needs of those who use it, and providing links to wider services to help carers access all the support they are entitled to. 

Our consultation on how our new benefit could be different to Carer’s Allowance closed on 23 May 2022. You can read the consultation responses we received.

We published an independent analysis of the responses to the consultation on Scottish Carer's Assistance (now called Carer Support Payment) in November 2022. The Scottish Government's response to the consultation was published in March 2023. Regulations to introduce Carer Support Payment have been passed by the Scottish Parliament. Carer Support Payment launched in three pilot local authority areas on 20 November 2023:

  • Perth and Kinross
  • Dundee City
  • Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles)

Carers in more local authority areas will be able to apply from spring 2024 as part of a phased roll-out. The benefit will be available nationally by autumn 2024. The case transfer process for carers in Scotland who already receive Carer’s Allowance began on 26 February 2024.

We have made a number of improvements to the delivery of our new benefit, including:

  • making it easier for unpaid carers to access education, by extending entitlement to around 1,500 carers at college and university
  • providing a better service for carers, including linking carers to carer centres and advice and information on income maximisation
  • improved processes for carers who want to challenge a benefit decision, and clear timescales for when they can expect this to be done

Read more about the process used to develop options for future changes to this support in the supporting documents section of the consultation. The options list was based on a range of work with carers and support organisations, different areas of government policy, and interviews with members of our Experience Panels. These changes would help carers access opportunities outside of caring where they wish to, provide more financial stability, and better recognise different caring situations than the current benefit.

Carer’s Additional Person Payment

We are committed to providing extra support through Carer Support Payment to carers who are receiving the benefit and caring for more than one person who is getting a disability benefit. We are proposing to make an extra payment of £10 per week, which we are calling ‘Carer’s Additional Person Payment’ for now, and expands our previous commitment to extra support for those caring for multiple people. We are continuing to work to deliver this new support as soon as possible.

We recognise that caring for more than one person has additional impacts on carers in terms of their health and wellbeing, and no extra support is currently available through Carer’s Allowance.

The aim of the payment will be to support carers’ health and wellbeing, in recognition of the impact of these multiple caring roles.

Engaging with carers

Feedback from carers helps us understand if changes, once implemented, are making a difference, alongside other evidence such as management information and survey data.

See Experience Panel reports published to date. 

Organisations that work with carers and wider experts who have played an important role have included:

It is important to us that carer benefits reach everyone who is entitled to them. We are working to improve benefit uptake and also carry out Equalities Impact Assessments for each benefit to identify areas where extra activity is needed. 

We increase carer benefits each year in line with inflation so that they keep their value as prices rise.

Wider support for carers

The improvements we have made and are proposing to make to carer benefits are on top of a range of wider support we provide for carers including through the Carers (Scotland) Act. This gives all carers the right to a personalised plan to identify what is important to them and the right to support which meets their eligible needs. Every local authority must also have an information and advice service for carers, covering topics including income maximisation and carer benefits. 

Our work to develop Carer Support Payment is also linked to wider work which is ongoing to improve support for carers and the people they care for, including through the development of a National Care Service.

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