Social Security Experience Panels - Scottish Carer's Assistance: main report
This report presents results from research with Social Security Experience Panel members to explore their views on proposals on how Scottish Carer’s Assistance (SCA) could be different from Carer’s Allowance.
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Findings at a glance
- The research involved a survey with 242 Social Security Experience Panel members and follow-up interviews with 16 participants.
Scottish Carer's Assistance when it is first introduced
- Interview participants said that the information on entitlements and various sources of support needs to be streamlined across agencies, organisations and services.
- Over two thirds of survey respondents (71 per cent) agreed with setting Scottish Carer's Assistance to £0 for any week a carer earns too much money.
- Two thirds of survey respondents (66 per cent) agreed with setting Scottish Carer's Assistance to £0 if a cared for person's disability benefit is stopped or suspended.
- Over half of survey respondents (54 per cent) agreed with ending a Scottish Carer's Assistance award when it has been £0 for six months in a row.
- Most interview participants agreed with the proposal to pay Scottish Carer's Assistance to carers when the person they are caring for is receiving short-term assistance.
Extra payments for carers in Scotland
- Almost half or survey respondents (48 per cent) said Carer's Allowance Supplement should be paid at the same time with Scottish Carer's Assistance payments in the future and over a third (35 per cent) said Carer's Allowance Supplement should be paid as a lump sum.
- Three quarters of survey respondents agreed with the proposed eligibility criteria for Carer's Additional Person Payment.
Further changes to Scottish Carer's Assistance in the future
- There was a positive consensus between interview participants on the proposal to remove education restrictions to allow carers in full-time education to be eligible for Scottish Carer's Assistance.
- Just over four fifths of respondents (81 per cent) agreed with the change to allow carers to add hours spent caring for two people to reach the 35 hours per week requirement to get Scottish Carer's Assistance.
- The vast majority of survey respondents (90 per cent) agreed with the proposal to pay Scottish Carer's Assistance for 12 weeks after the death of a cared for person.
- The vast majority of respondents (91 per cent) agreed with the proposal to pay Scottish Carer's Assistance for 12 weeks when a cared for person goes into hospital or residential care.
- 90 per cent agreed with the proposal to increase the earnings limit for Scottish Carer's Assistance to a level linked to the formula of 16 hours times the hourly rate for the Real Living Wage.
- The majority of respondents (82 per cent) agreed with the idea of making payments for some weeks after a carer earns over the earnings limit.
- 89 per cent of survey respondents said that a payment for long-term carers should be considered further.
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