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.

What worked well about the Carer's Allowance application process

Respondents were asked what they thought worked well about the Carer's Allowance application process.

Quick and straightforward application process

Many of the respondents said that they thought the application process was quick and straightforward to follow, and that they faced no delays in hearing the result of their application or receiving payments. Some also commented that it was helpful that their payments were backdated.

"The process of applying was easy. I heard very quickly about the decison and it was paid on time".

"It was easy to fill out, and when they needed extra information they phoned me and it was dealt with there and then. I then received my first payment a few days later".

Respondents commented that they had time to fully understand what was needed before applying for Carer's Allowance. Compared to other benefits, respondents felt that the process for applying for Carer Allowance was much simpler.

"Carer's Allowance is one of the only benefits which are stress free, hassle free and easy to do".

Helpful staff

A number of respondents said they found staff to be helpful when completing the application. Respondents said they were able to receive support to complete the application process, either from staff, or by going through a support organisation - for example a local carers centre.

"It was dealt with and processed quite quickly. And when I needed to call someone they were very understanding and helpful".

"Form was clear to complete and if I had to phone they are always helpful".

Online application process

Many respondents said they felt that having the application process online made applying for Carer's Allowance easier, quicker and minimised the need to provide additional documentation.

"The fact that it was simple to do online, it was easy and hassle free. The response was fair timing and the letters are easy to read and understand".

"Easy to apply- there are no difficult questions. It's quick to apply if doing it online. There is no need to send in any additional evidence, other than proving part time students status and wage slips if earning under the threshold".

Respondents said that by having the application online helps reduce stress with documents being sent over the post.

It also helps with worries about posting things in- there's rarely ever a problem, but with documents as important as these you do tend to worry about what ifs".



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