The Scottish Government is becoming responsible for some of the benefits previously delivered by the UK Government through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). As part of the work to prepare for this change, the Scottish Government set up the Social Security Experience Panels. Experience Panels are made up of over 2,400 people who have recent experience of at least one of the benefits that are being devolved to Scotland. The Experience Panels includes people with experience of Carer's Allowance, many of whom also have experience of one of the other ten benefits that are being devolved. The Scottish Government is working with Experience Panel members to design a new social security system that works for the people of Scotland.
Carer's Allowance is a payment to support people who spend at least 35 hours per week providing regular care to someone who is disabled and is in receipt of a qualifying benefit. In 2018, the Scottish Government introduced a supplement which would be paid to people in receipt of Carer's Allowance living in Scotland, which would bring the total support through Carer's Allowance to be in line with Job Seeker's Allowance. This payment is made to cover 6 month instalments.
We invited panel members who had experience of receiving Carer's Allowance to take part in an interview to help us understand more about their experience of Carer's Allowance, and to help inform the Scottish Government's approach to communicating information about the new Carer's Allowance Supplement, which was launched in September 2018. These interviews took place in February and March 2018.