Home Help for families Information & advice Benefits & tax credits Welfare benefits in Scotland Carer Support Payment
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Carer Support Payment is a new benefit that is being introduced in Scotland to replace Carer’s Allowance. Once rolled-out nationally, it will become the main benefit for carers in Scotland.
Carer Support Payment is a new benefit the Scottish government is introducing to replace Carer’s Allowance in Scotland. Once rolled-out nationally, it will become the main benefit for carers in Scotland.
You might get Carer Support Payment if you provide at least 35 hours a week care to someone who is receiving particular disability benefits. See below.
Social Security Scotland is introducing Carer Support Payment gradually.
Initially, it will pilot in three areas from November 2023. These are Dundee City, Perth, and Kinross and Western Isles. Carers in these areas who want to make a new claim for support as a carer on or after 19 November 2023 will need to claim Carer Support Payment, rather than make a claim for Carer’s Allowance.
Social Security Scotland says that it plans a phased roll-out of the benefit to replace new applications for Carer’s Allowance elsewhere in Scotland. This is planned to start from Spring 2024 and is expected to cover all areas of Scotland from Autumn 2024.
Existing Carer’s allowance claimants in Scotland will gradually transfer onto the new Carer Support Payment. These transfers will happen automatically, without any need for the carer to make a claim for Carer Support Payment.
This process of transferring Carer’s Allowance claimants onto the new benefit is scheduled to start in February 2024. As yet, no details have been provided of the areas within Scotland where this will happen first.
You qualify if you provide at least 35 hours of care per week to someone who gets one of:
Carer Support Payment is not means-tested. It does not matter what savings you have. Most forms of income are ignored (for example, any occupational or personal pension you receive). However, if you work, you can only get Carer Support Payment if your earnings, after deductions, are no more than £139 per week.
You must also meet certain tests linked to your immigration status and the length of time you have spent in the UK.
If you share the care of a disabled child with someone else, and you each provide at least 35 hours a week care, only one of you can get Carer Support Payment/Carer’s Allowance/ the Universal Credit carer element for that child.
There are additional tests if you work or study. The Carer Support Payment rules are very similar to the rules that apply in Carer’s Allowance. However, there are more generous rules allowing students in some forms of education to qualify for Carer Support Payment even though they may have been refused Carer’s Allowance.
If you work, you must not earn more than the ‘earnings limit’ of £139 per week.
In calculating your earnings for Carer’s Support Payment purposes, you can make certain deductions from your gross wages. This not only includes any tax and national insurance you pay, but also:
If your earnings after these deductions are £139 per week or less, you can keep all of your Carer Support Payment. If your earnings after these deductions are even 1p more, you will lose all of your Carer Support Payment.
Unlike Carer’s Allowance, many carers in full-time education will be able to claim Carer Support Payment. This includes:
However, if a carer is aged 16-19 and in non-advanced education that involves more than 21 hours a week study, they will not be able to get Carer Support Payment. They may get a young carer grant instead.
Carer Support Payment is £76.75 a week. You should also receive an additional lump sum payment – known as the Carer’s Allowance Supplement – twice a year.
You can only get one award of Carer Support Payment, even if you are looking after more than one person. The Scottish Government has future plans to introduce extra payments for those looking after more than one disabled person, but has not given any timescale for this happening.
Carer Support Payment can also help protect your right to a retirement State Pension. This is because you will receive Class 1 National Insurance credits for every week it is in payment.
New claimants will be able to apply online via mygov.scot or by telephone on 0800 182 2222.
Existing Carer’s Allowance claimants will transfer automatically without any need to make a claim.
Carer Support Payment counts as income when calculating means-tested benefits such as Income Support, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. But you’ll get a “carer premium” of £42.75 per week (or the carer element of £185.86 per month in Universal Credit) as part of that means-tested benefit. This is to ensure you end up better off.
You cannot get Carer Support Payment at the same time as certain other non-means-tested benefits. This includes contributory Employment and Support Allowance and State Pension.
It is still worthwhile making a claim for Carer Support Payment in these circumstances. By making a claim, you’ll establish an “underlying entitlement” to Carer’s Support Payment. This means you’ll count as a carer for any means-tested benefits you get and will get the carer premium (see above).
Carer Support Payment is treated as income for tax credits purposes. Despite this, you are usually better off after making a claim. This is because the amount of Carer Support Payment paid is greater than any drop in tax credits.
In order to avoid an overpayment, it’s important to let the Tax Credit Office know you are getting Carer Support Payment.
So long as you are claiming as the carer of a dependent child, a claim for Carer Support Payment will not have any impact on the benefits that they receive.
Claiming Carer Support Payment for a disabled adult is also not normally a problem. However, if they are a disabled adult who receives a payment known as the “severe disability premium” as part of a means-tested benefit claim, they will end up worse off if you get Carer Support Payment for them.
Carer's Allowance is the main benefit for carers who provide at least 35 hours of care per week.
Advice on asking for a carer's assessment, what the assessment looks like and what happens after the assessment.
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