Carer's Allowance Supplement: evaluation
This report presents findings from the evaluation of Carer’s Allowance Supplement.
This document is part of a collection
The experiences of CAS recipients demonstrate that CAS has gone some way to meeting its overall aims: to improve outcomes for carers by providing extra financial support and to provide greater recognition of the essential societal contribution that carers make.
While CAS has positively impacted on carer finances, carer quality of life, and on carer feelings of recognition to some extent, it is accepted that more significant impact on the wider governmental outcomes of improving carer health and wellbeing, improving carer quality of life and increasing societal recognition in the long-term may require different actions to supplement financial support for carers and/or higher levels of financial support.
As the Scottish Government only receives funding from the UK Government to pay benefits at the level at which they are currently paid, funding for any changes which extend the eligibility criteria or increase the amount of the payment would need to be found from within the current Scottish budget. Accordingly, when making any decisions on the future of Carer's Allowance, the Scottish Government will need to take into account affordability and impacts on wider support for carers, including support which remains the responsibility of the UK Government.
However, the impact of CAS should not be considered in isolation and, as outlined above, many current or future Scottish Government initiatives are designed to address these considerations and contribute to delivering on the wider government outcomes for carers in time, and a discussion on this can be found in Annex B.
It is also worth bearing in mind that, while caring can be a rewarding and positive experience, it can also be extremely challenging. Even small improvements to carers' quality of life and their sense of being valued and recognised do matter. It was very clear from the research that carers appreciated the payments and thought they should continue. Although it was a more exceptional experience, the transformative impact that CAS has had for certain carers should not be overlooked.
The issues highlighted in this evaluation will be considered when developing social security for carers, particularly the Scottish replacement for Carer's Allowance, which will be developed to complement existing and planned interventions to support carers at a wider government level.
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