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

Background and Research Methods 

The Scottish Government have established Social Security Scotland who will be responsible for administering Scotland’s new social security system and delivering Scottish benefits. In September 2018, Social Security Scotland launched Carer’s Allowance Supplement, a twice-yearly payment to people in receipt of Carer's Allowance living in Scotland, to bring the total support provided in 2018/19 up to the level of Jobseeker's Allowance. 

This report outlines the findings from a survey that took place in May 2019 with Experience Panel members who have told us they have experience of Carer’s Allowance, to seek feedback on the first two payments of Carer’s Allowance Supplement.

Experience Panel members with experience of Carer’s Allowance were sent the survey. This was 507 panel members. Participation in Experience Panels research is optional, and in this case 129 people chose to complete the survey, a response rate of 25%.

Within the survey, respondents were specifically asked about:

  • their experience of receiving the Carer’s Allowance Supplement letter,
  • receiving the payment, and 
  • how the extra payment had helped them. 

The Social Security Experience Panels are a longitudinal research project. The 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 or the views of all people receiving Carer’s Allowance Supplement. Percentages are given only to give 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’[1] and ‘Social Security Experience Panels: Who is in the panels and their experiences so far’[2] surveys. The demographic data collected in these surveys was linked to the information supplied previously by participants as part of the longitudinal data set for this project.The following demographic information is given to give context to the findings from the survey.

Not all responses were linked in this way. This was due to missing or unclear information from the survey responses or participants not having previously supplied us with the relevant demographic information.

Around two thirds of respondents identified as ‘woman or girl’ (66 per cent) and a third (33 per cent) of participants identified as ‘man or boy’.

Table 1: Gender of survey respondents. (n=88)

Gender %
Man or boy 33
Woman or girl 66
Prefer not to say 1
Total 100

Around seven out of ten participants were aged 45 or over (77 per cent) with just over two in ten aged between 25 and 44 (21 per cent). 

Table 2: Age group of respondents. (n= 85)

Age group %
16-24 1
25-44 21
45-59 56
60-79 21
Total 99

Nearly seven out of ten participants (69 per cent) had a disability or long term condition. 

Table 3: Disability or long term health condition. (n= 84)

Disability or long term condition %
Yes 69
No 30
Prefer not to say 1
Total 100

Over seven out of ten respondents cared for an adult only (73 per cent), while around two out of ten participants cared for a child only (19 per cent). Under one in ten respondents cared for both adult and child (8 per cent). 

Table 4: Caring responsibilities of respondents. (n=81)

Caring responsibilities  %
Carer for an adult 73
Carer for a child 19
Carer for both adult and child 8
Total 100

The majority of respondents were living within an urban area (80 per cent).[3]

Table 5: Urban or Rural. N= 75

Urban/Rural %
Rural 20
Urban 80
Total 100

More detailed demographic information on the Experience Panels as a whole can be found in ‘Social Security Experience Panels: Who is in the panels and their experiences so far’ [4].



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