New carer payment due to launch in 10 council areas this summer

A younger woman is comforting an elderly woman
Carers Support Payment is a new devolved benefit from the Scottish Government. -Credit:Getty Images

Thousands of unpaid carers across Scotland will soon be able to apply for a new devolved benefit, if regulations laid this week in the Scottish Parliament are approved. Carer Support Payment is delivered by Social Security Scotland and will gradually replace Carer's Allowance for nearly 80,000 people living in Scotland.

New claims for Carer's Allowance were replaced by the Scottish payment in November 2023 for people living in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles and is set to launch in 10 more council areas this summer. The phased rollout will start with North and South Lanarkshire and Angus on June 24.

From August it will extend to Fife, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, and North, East and South Ayrshire and be available in the rest of Scotland in November. Carer Support Payment is only available to new claimants - people already receiving Carer’s Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will not be affected by the rollout and will have their current award transferred over to Social Security Scotland in stages.

It’s important to be aware the DWP will continue to pay Carer’s Allowance until the move to Carer Support Payment is completed. Payments will be the same - £81.90 per week.

There will be no gap in payments during the transfer and the amount someone receives will stay the same. The weekly earnings threshold will also be the same as the DWP, this is now £151 for the 2024/25 financial year.

If you move from Carer's Allowance to Carer Support Payment, you can also choose to be paid weekly instead of every four weeks.

Eligible carers who live in areas where Carer Support Payment is not yet available are being urged to still apply for Carer's Allowance to make sure they don’t miss out on support.

Carer Support Payment is also available to carers aged 16-19 in full-time ‘advanced’ education and carers aged over 20 in full-time education at any level. These regulations will see eligibility further extended to some 16-19-year-old carers in full-time ‘non-advanced’ education, such as school, from June 24.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Unpaid carers provide a huge amount of physical, mental and emotional support. The work they do is invaluable, both to the people they care for and to Scottish society as a whole.

“I am therefore delighted we are ready to roll-out the next phase of Carer Support Payment, allowing thousands more unpaid carers to get the benefit

“This is particularly important for those who aren’t eligible for Carer's Allowance, but are eligible for Carer Support Payment, including many full-time students.

“Having spoken to carers in the pilot areas, I know Carer Support Payment is not only providing financial support to students who couldn’t get it before, but it’s allowing carers to study full-time who never thought this would be possible.

“I urge anyone who lives in an area where Carer Support Payment is available to apply for it as soon as possible.”

Carer Support Payment rollout timetable

  • Available to claim now - Perth & Kinross, Dundee City and Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles)

  • June 24 - North and South Lanarkshire, Angus

  • August 19 - Fife, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, and North, East and South Ayrshire

  • November 4 - Available across Scotland

Backdated payments

The new regulations also now include special backdating rules. This means that carers who are not getting Carer’s Allowance but are eligible for Carer Support Payment can have their payments backdated to the date Carer Support Payment first became available. This stops carers missing out on money they are entitled to because they live in an area included in the later phases of the rollout.

The main group to benefit will be carers aged 16-19 in full-time “advanced” education (such as university), and carers aged over 20 in full-time education at any level.

To get their fully backdated payments, carers must apply within 13 weeks of the benefit becoming available in their area.

Transfers from DWP to Social Security Scotland began in February this year, with all awards expected to be moved by Spring 2025.

Full details about Carer Support Payment can be found on the Scottish Government website here.