Publication - FOI/EIR release

Carer's Allowance Supplement programme: FOI release

Published: 12 Jan 2022

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
12 Jan 2022
Carer's Allowance Supplement programme: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100259979
Date received: 1 Dec 2021
Date responded: 16 Dec 2021
Information requested

Information on people who have an underlying entitlement to Carer's Allowance and why they are not entitled to Carer's Allowance Supplement.

1. Why has Social Security Scotland decided not to support those carers on Pension Credit with underlying entitlement to carer’s allowance with inclusion to the Carer’s Allowance Supplement programme?

2. Has Social Security Scotland or the Scottish Government decided that those over 66 years old are not in need of the supplement?

3. If there is a problem with Social Security Scotland getting the data on those quoted above from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), can you please supply copies of all communications with DWP about people in Scotland with underlying entitlement to carer’s allowance?

4. Can you please inform me of how many people in Scotland are in this position?

Response

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested on question 3 (If there is a problem with Social Security Scotland getting the data on those quoted above from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), can you please supply copies of all communications with DWP about people in Scotland with underlying entitlement to carer’s allowance?) because an exemption under section 17(1) (information not held) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained below.

After conducting searches of our systems, we have not found any communications with DWP which would be within the scope of your request.

The answers to the rest of your questions are below.

1. Why has Social Security Scotland decided not to support those carers on Pension Credit with underlying entitlement to carer’s allowance with inclusion to the Carer’s Allowance Supplement programme?

Carer’s Allowance Supplement was introduced to address the fact that Carer’s Allowance, at £67.60 a week, is the lowest of all working age benefits. The Supplement is paid for each period to carers eligible for Carer’s Allowance on the qualifying date. Carer’s Allowance is an income replacement benefit. Under the overlapping benefits rule, Carer’s Allowance is not normally paid to carers that would otherwise be eligible but are in receipt of another benefit paid at a higher rate. Carers with an underlying entitlement still benefit from National Insurance credits. It was not considered necessary to pay the Supplement to carers with an underlying entitlement as they are already in receipt of a higher level of benefit than those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.

2. Has Social Security Scotland or the Scottish Government decided that those over 66 years old are not in need of the supplement?

Under the overlapping benefits rule, people eligible for another income replacement benefit such as a State Pension with a value equal to or exceeding their weekly rate of Carer’s Allowance do not also receive Carer’s Allowance.

Carers with underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance are in receipt of a benefit which is equal to or higher than Carer’s Allowance. The vast majority of these – around 80% - are in receipt of the State Pension. This is higher than Carer’s Allowance, with the standard state pension being £179.60 weekly, compared to Carer’s Allowance at £67.60.

Pensioner carers on low incomes may receive a full or, more likely, partial payment of Carer’s Allowance. We have designed Carer’s Allowance Supplement to ensure that those carers receive partial as well as full Carer’s Allowance receive the Supplement.

4. Can you please inform me of how many people in Scotland are in this position?

Around 39,000 carers in Scotland have an underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance but did not receive a payment (around 80% are in receipt of the State Pension). This is because, under the overlapping benefits rule, people eligible for another income replacement benefit such as a State Pension with a value equal to or exceeding their weekly rate of Carer’s Allowance do not also receive Carer’s Allowance.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG