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Social Security Experience Panels: Carer's Allowance Supplement - experiences

This report outlines the research on the surveys conducted with experience panel members who have experience of Carer’s Allowance, to get some feedback on their experience of Carer’s Allowance Supplement.

This document is part of a collection


Summary 

Most respondents, before receiving the letter knew Carer’s Allowance Supplement was coming (89 per cent), with most finding out about Carer’s Allowance Supplement through social media, through other organisations, or through family or friends. 

More than nine in ten respondents received a letter from Social Security Scotland about the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, and from them, the majority of them found the letter to be very helpful/helpful. Among those who found the letter to be very helpful/helpful they found the letter to be “clear” and “easy to understand”.

Respondents were asked if they had received the payment when they had expected to, after receiving the letter. Nearly nine in ten respondents had, while over one in ten did not or could not remember. 

Respondents were asked if they had any questions about the Carer’s Allowance Supplement which were not answered by the letter. Among those who did, questions were about the effect Carer’s Allowance Supplement would have on Working Tax Credit and the date it would be paid. 

For further information, over half of respondents stated that they knew where to go in case they had any questions. However 40 per cent stated they did not or could not remember where to go. 

A number of respondents did not do anything after they had received the letter. Others looked for more information about the payment online or asked family and/or friends about the payment. 

A number of respondents described positive experiences of receiving the Carer’s Allowance Supplement letter. Reasons included feeling appreciated, the letter gave the necessary information and the payment helped with finances. 

A few described less positive experiences and highlighted a number of areas where they felt the letter could be improved. This included providing clearer information about the exact dates the supplement would be paid, that the letter should come before the payment, and the amount given was not enough.   

This research will be used to shape the service delivered by Social Security Scotland. In particular, the information from this report will inform decisions about how Social Security Scotland will improve the notification letter for Carer’s Allowance Supplement. 

In future years, will be looking into increasing Carer’s Allowance Supplement. We will be continuing work with Panel Members with experience of Carer benefits, including the launch of the new Young Carer Grant for carers aged 16 to 18, an additional payment for people getting Carer’s Allowance who care for more than one disabled child, and the Scottish replacement for Carer’s Allowance.

Contact

Email: socialsecurity@gov.scot

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