New payment of £327 for people providing unpaid care due to launch in seven council areas next month

Nurse or home caregiver and senior woman holding hands at home
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

A new devolved payment for people providing unpaid care is now available to claim in several locations across Scotland with a further seven council areas set to open for applications next month. Carer Support Payment has already replaced new claims for Carer’s Allowance in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross, the Western Isles, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Angus.

It will be available to residents in Fife, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, and North, East and South Ayrshire from August 19. The new benefit is administered by Social Security Scotland and worth £81.90 each week - £327.60 every four weeks - for people providing 35 hours of care to a family member, friend or neighbour.

Carer Support Payment will gradually replace Carer's Allowance for nearly 85,000 people living north of the border and 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. There will be no gap in payments during the transfer between benefit platforms and the amount someone receives will stay the same. The weekly earnings threshold will also be the same as the DWP - £151 per week.

Transfers began in February this year. This is happening across the country and not just in the areas where Carer Support Payment is available for new applicants - all awards are expected to be moved from the DWP to Social Security Scotland by Spring 2025.

People transferring from Carer's Allowance to Carer Support Payment 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 from DWP to make sure they don’t miss out on financial support.

Carer Support Payment is also available to more student carers. Some 16-19-year-old carers in full-time ‘non-advanced’ education, such as school, are also eligible to claim the benefit.

In addition, some carers - mostly full-time students - can now have their benefit payments backdated to when Carer Support Payment was first introduced in November 2023.

The benefit will be rolled out to more local authorities in the next few months and will be available in all areas of Scotland from November 4.

Commenting on the launch last week in North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Angus, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “I’m delighted that more carers in Scotland can now get Carer Support Payment and I urge every carer who is eligible for the benefit to apply as soon as possible.

“I also encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible to check if they can apply. This includes students studying full-time who are not eligible for Carer's Allowance.

“The work unpaid carers do is invaluable and I want every carer to get the money they are entitled to.”

Carer Support Payment rollout timetable

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

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

  • November 4 - Available across Scotland

Backdated payments

Special backdating rules for the Carer Support Payment roll out mean that carers who are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance but are eligible for Carer Support Payment can apply to have their payments backdated to the date Carer Support Payment first became available.

Social Security Scotland said 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 fully backdated payments, carers must apply within 13 weeks of the benefit becoming available in their area. For carers in Angus, North and South Lanarkshire the 13-week deadline is September 22, 2024.

Carers may still be able to get fully backdated support after this if they have a good reason for missing the deadline.