The Carer's Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Draft Regulations 2023: policy note

This instrument sets out the rules and eligibility criteria for The Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Draft Regulations 2023 and includes provision for transfer of benefits for individuals who live in Scotland and receive CA to Social Security Scotland and Carer Support Payment.

Policy Objectives

Carer Support Payment (CSP) is intended to improve outcomes for unpaid carers by providing financial assistance to those providing regular and substantial care to someone in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit. Carer Support Payment will be an income-replacement benefit in recognition of the impact of caring on carers' ability to earn income through paid work. It is also intended to provide recognition of the vital caring role being provided, and the wider impact of this on carers, and to help support carers to access opportunities outside of caring.

Carer Support Payment will replace Carer's Allowance (CA) in Scotland. It will be delivered by Social Security Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers. Carer Support Payment systems and processes are being designed with carers and support organisations in line with our aim to ensure carers have a positive experience of the social security system, and to maximise carers' take-up of all support available to them. As part of this, information, notifications and services relating to Carer Support Payment are being designed to increase carers' awareness of the wider carer support and services available.

The regulations include provisions detailing the eligibility criteria, rate of assistance, making of applications and payments for Carer Support Payment. Eligibility criteria for Carer Support Payment set out in these regulations for the initial launch of the benefit will broadly align with the eligibility criteria for Carer's Allowance. This is to protect the safe and secure transfer of benefits for carers in Scotland who are already receiving Carer's Allowance, until the point that this transfer process is complete. It is also intended to avoid a 'two tier system' during this time in which carers receiving Carer's Allowance and Carer Support Payment would otherwise be treated differently. At the same time, regulations will ensure that Carer Support Payment is delivered in line with the Social Security principles within the framework of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 ('the 2018 Act') and provide consistency with other benefits delivered by the Scottish Government wherever possible.

In line with the above, Carer Support Payment will be available to people aged 16 or over, who are providing 35 or more hours of care a week to someone in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit. Carers must be earning less than £139 per week from employment or self-employment. [Part 3 of the schedule to the regulations provides for how earnings will be calculated for the purpose of this, which aligns with the calculation of earnings for Carer's Allowance.]



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