Social Security experience panels: carer benefits - main report

Outlines the Social Security experience panel's views expressed in a survey to help design carer benefits in Scotland.

Background and Research Methods

This report outlines the findings from a survey that took place in December 2019 with Experience Panel members to help design carer benefits in Scotland.

This survey was sent out to 696 panel members who have experience of Carer's Allowance. Participation in Experience Panels research is optional, and in this case 244 people chose to respond to the survey either online, over the phone or through the post. This was a response rate of 35 per cent. The survey was written in straightforward language to ensure it was clear what was being asked. This survey combined closed ended and open ended questions to allow panel members to express their views in full.

Within the survey, respondents who currently care for more than one disabled child or young person under the age of 18 were asked about:

  • Thoughts on how to apply for a new benefit for people caring for more than one disabled child or young person under the age of 18.
  • Naming the benefit.

All respondents were asked about:

  • Their experience as a carer.
  • Their experience and views of applying for Carer's Allowance.

The Social Security Experience Panels are made up of volunteers from the Scottish population who have experience of at least one of the benefits that are coming to Scotland. The results of this work should be regarded as being reflective of the experience and views of the participants only, and are not indicative of the wider Scottish population. Percentages are given only to provide a broad sense of the balance of opinion across participants.

About the participants

Information from the survey was added to information from the 'About Your Benefits and You'[2] and 'Social Security Experience Panels: Who is in the panels and their experiences so far'[3] surveys. The demographic data collected in these surveys was linked to the information supplied previously by participants. However, linking was not possible where there was missing or unclear information.147 respondents' data were linked to demographic information supplied previously. 219 respondents data were linked to information they had already supplied about the benefits that they have experience of.

The following demographic information is given to give context to the findings from the survey. More detailed information about participants is available in Annex A.

Around two thirds (68 per cent) of respondents whose data we could link identified as a 'woman or girl' and a third as a 'man or boy'. More than half were aged between 45-59 years old.

Two thirds had a disability or long term health condition lasting 3 months or longer and almost nine in ten had experience of being a carer. A quarter had experience caring for one or more children who are disabled or have a long term health condition. Almost all respondents had experience of Carer's Allowance and around two thirds had experience of Disability Living Allowance (70 per cent) and Personal Independence Payments (64 per cent).

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents whose data we could link live in an urban area, and just over a quarter (27 per cent) in a rural area.[4] Scottish Government statistics show that the proportion of people who provide care is slightly higher in the most rural areas compared to the most urban areas of Scotland.[5]



Back to top