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.

Summary of aims and desired outcomes of Policy

Carer Support Payment (formerly known as Scottish Carer’s Assistance)[1] will replace Carer’s Allowance in Scotland from the end of 2023, with a phased national roll out from spring 2024. It will provide some replacement income for unpaid carers in Scotland who are less able to take on paid work, and provide recognition of their important caring role.

We have developed policy[2] that makes changes now, and that allows for changes in future, that aim to:

  • recognise the impact of caring on carers’ lives, providing support in a way that takes into account that different carers have different needs, and that different caring situations have different impacts
  • provide stability, and support carers to access opportunities outside of caring, where possible, and if they wish to do so
  • ensure carers have a positive experience of the social security system, and maximise carers’ take-up of all support available to them.

The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 (‘the 2018 Act’) sets out the broad framework for the delivery of devolved social security in Scotland. In April 2018 Scottish Ministers took executive and legal competence for Carer’s Allowance.

Since 2018, Carer’s Allowance has continued to be delivered during a transition period by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) under the terms of an Agency Agreement with the Scottish Government. Carer Support Payment will be delivered by Social Security Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers under the 2018 Act. It is planned that the new benefit will launch on a pilot basis by the end of 2023, with a phased national roll out from spring 2024. Scottish Government officials are continuing to engage with the DWP to agree a timetable for the transfer of awards to Social Security Scotland. We intend to complete case transfer as soon as possible, while ensuring the process is safe and secure, so that we can deliver improvements to Carer Support Payment. The Carer’s Allowance Agency Agreement has been extended to March 2025, and we remain on track to complete case transfer by the end of 2025. The Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 set out the detailed rules surrounding entitlement to Carer Support Payment from launch, and provide for the transfer of awards for carers already receiving Carer’s Allowance in Scotland.

In our consultation on the benefit, we set out plans for how the benefit would work from launch and potential priority changes to make as soon as reasonably practical once ‘case transfer’ from Carer’s Allowance is complete, as well as plans to improve join up across services for carers. This impact assessment covers all of these, and the transfer of awards for existing Carer’s Allowance clients from DWP to Social Security Scotland. While this goes further than our obligation to impact assess the new legislation, we have chosen this approach because it allows initial plans to be seen in context, and also because it allows for feedback to further inform ongoing detailed policy development.

This policy is closely aligned with the Healthier, Wealthier and Fairer Strategic Objectives, and contributes to the following National Outcomes:

  • We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination
  • We tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth, and power more equally
  • We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe
  • We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential.

Team, Division, Directorate

Carer Benefits and Case Transfer Policy Unit

Social Security Policy Division, Social Security Directorate.



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