Carer Support Payment (Scotland)

Introduction

1. The Carer Support Payment paid under the Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Regulations 2023  SSI 2023/302 are designed to support individuals providing care to those receiving disability assistance.1‘The Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Regulations 2023’,  accessed 16 November 2023 They replace the previous Carer’s Allowance in Scotland and mark a transition in how carers are supported by the Scottish Government.

Legal Framework and Transition

2. The Regulations detail the transition from the Carer’s Allowance, previously administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), to the new Carer Support Payment, which will be managed by Social Security Scotland. This shift demonstrates the Scottish Government’s approach to social security, aiming to provide a more tailored and localised system of support.

Policy Objectives

3. The primary objective of the Carer Support Payment is to provide financial assistance to unpaid carers, acknowledging the economic impact of caregiving on their ability to earn an income.

4. These regulations align with the broader social security principles laid out in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, emphasising a user-friendly approach and increasing carers’ awareness of available support.

Eligibility

5. The eligibility criteria for Carer Support Payment mirror those of the former Carer’s Allowance to facilitate a smooth transition.

6. Key eligibility requirements include providing 35 or more hours of care weekly and earning below a specified threshold.

7. The regulations detail how earnings are calculated and the conditions for residence and presence in Scotland.

Provisions on Education and Income Replacement

8. The regulations diverge from the Carer’s Allowance in their approach to education, allowing for carers in full-time education to be eligible under certain conditions.

9. Carer Support Payment, being an income-replacement benefit, cannot be received concurrently with other similar benefits, addressing overlapping benefits and overpayment issues.

Suspension and Temporary Stops in Entitlement

10. The regulations include provisions for the suspension of assistance and temporary stops in entitlement. These measures are intended to manage situations where a carer temporarily ceases to meet the eligibility criteria, reducing the administrative burden of reapplying for support.

Case Transfer from Carer’s Allowance

11. A significant aspect of the Regulations is the process for transferring individuals currently receiving Carer’s Allowance to the new Carer Support Payment. This process is designed to be seamless and efficient, with minimal action required from the beneficiaries.

Conclusion

12. The Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 represents a comprehensive legal framework for supporting carers in Scotland. It reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving the social security system by making it more accessible and responsive to the needs of unpaid carers. The alignment with the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 further ensures consistency and coherence in the delivery of social security benefits in Scotland.

Tags: Scotland
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