Carer Support Payment: equality impact assessment

The equality impact assessment (EQIA) considers potential impacts of the Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 on individuals with one or more protected characteristics.

Recommendations and conclusion

We have not identified any negative impacts on groups with protected characteristics through the introduction of Carer Support Payment, in respect of both final plans for launch and for further changes. We have identified a number of positive impacts.

We do recognise that although older carers with underlying entitlement will receive at least as much and usually significantly more in benefits more than their peers who receive Carer Support Payment, including specific benefits for caring for those on low incomes, they feel disappointed that they will not receive the Carer Support Payment. Older carers will benefit from our work to encourage applications for underlying entitlement, and linking up to wider carer support, such as short breaks from caring and access to an Adult Carer Support Plan. Some older carers have responded positively to the proposal to explore a new payment for carers with a long-term caring role, which could benefit many carers who currently have underlying entitlement.

Changes to be made at launch through regulations, and work to better join up carers with services, are expected to impact positively on all carers, with particular potential to benefit some protected characteristics. Actions from our benefit uptake strategy and our approach to user centred design, which has had extensive input from many carers with protected characteristics, will help address financial inequality experienced by some groups with protected characteristics.

Changes to eligibility criteria have been informed by equalities data. It is intended that the changes to eligibility criteria will also increase incomes and bring about greater financial stability. These, combined with changes to eligibility criteria to improve access to education and paid employment can help address structural inequality. We are aware that many people with protected characteristics already face additional challenges and stress related to their protected characteristic, and we want the changes planned to reduce the challenges and stresses that can come with an intensive caring role.

It is anticipated that the evidence-based practice and continuous improvement employed by Social Security Scotland will continue to embed dignity, fairness and respect in an equalities context into Carer Support Payment on an ongoing basis.

Monitoring and evaluation will test the extent to which our aims are met.

In recognition of our data gaps, we are taking a proactive approach across social security and wider Scottish Government to work with representative groups to build our evidence base and hear direct from carers in specific groups to inform ongoing policy development. In recognition of the lack of equalities data we will receive on carers whose benefits are transferring from Carer’s Allowance to Carer Support Payment, we will include a link in the case transfer award letter which will allow people to complete an equalities survey, which will help to improve our knowledge of the characteristics of the people receiving Carer Support Payment. However, as it is important that this survey is optional, uptake of this may not be significant. We will continue to consider opportunities to improve our data on carers who have transferred from Carer’s Allowance, for example at the point that we open applications for Carer's Additional Person Payment.


I confirm that the impact of the Carer Support Payment has been sufficiently assessed against the needs of the equality duty:

Name and job title of policy lead:

Jane Sterry

Senior Policy Adviser

Social Security Policy

Name and job title of a Deputy Director or equivalent:

Ian Davidson

Deputy Director

Social Security Policy

Date this version authorised:

18 August 2023



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