Scottish Carer's Assistance

Closed 23 May 2022

Opened 28 Feb 2022

Feedback updated 5 May 2023

We asked

We asked you about how Scottish Carer’s Assistance could work better for unpaid carers in Scotland. Scottish Carer’s Assistance was our working title for the benefit that will replace Carer’s Allowance in Scotland.  

The consultation opened on 28 February 2022 and closed on 23 May 2022.

We asked 43 questions about:

  • how Scottish Carer’s Assistance could work better for carers from launch
  • how payments should be made in future and how this new benefit would work with other support for carers like the current Carer’s Allowance Supplement and the proposed Carer’s Additional Person Payment
  • other proposed future changes

Around 200 people and organisations responded to the consultation.  During this time, nine engagement events were attended by carers who had a range of varied experiences, and we also attended Carers Scotland’s Annual Carers Summit. Further research was also carried out through Social Security Scotland Experience Panels, with 242 members sharing their experiences. Once the consultation closed, we arranged a series of workshops with the Carer Benefits Advisory Group to take additional feedback.

You said

Your responses showed that, overall, you supported the proposals in the consultation. Many of you also said how important it is that support for carers is improved, with better signposting for benefit advice, income maximisation and advocacy services.  

Many people asked us to provide more flexibility in the way the benefit is paid – e.g. people should be able to choose to get payments weekly, monthly or twice a year based on their individual needs. Many people also said that the benefit should be more flexible in other ways, for instance by increasing the earnings threshold,  changing the rules so that more student carers will be eligible for Carer Support Payment and a new carer recognition payment.

You also told us you would like to see changes happen more quickly and that the changes should go further.

We did

We carried out separate work to ask people what they would like our new benefit to be called. We listened to people’s views and have decided that the new benefit will be called the Carer Support Payment.

Your responses to the consultation have helped us to decide the final policy for Carer Support Payment when it launches. We will continue to consider your responses to make final decisions on other changes to Carer Support Payment we want to make in future.

Based on your responses, we will make sure that the residence criteria as well as the ‘past presence test’ for Carer Support Payment is the same as other Scottish Government benefits. This means we will remove the test for some refugees and people who are terminally ill and ensure that carers moving to Scotland from out with the Common Travel Area can access support more quickly.

Your responses also showed us that you would like to see Carer Support Payment paid to unpaid carers who are full time students.  This will help to reduce barriers to education. We will change the rules so that full time students that are otherwise eligible for carer support payment can get Carer Support Payment if they are:

  • aged 20 or over and in full time advanced or non-advanced education; or
  • aged 16 to 19 and in full time advanced education

The Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Draft Regulations set out what Carer Support Payment will look like when it launches. We sent a copy of the draft regulations  to the Scottish Commission on Social Security for scrutiny on 3 March 2023 and published these on our website on the 10 March 2023. These can be read in full here.

The Scottish Government’s response to the consultation was published on 24 March 2023, and is available here. An easy read summary is also available here

We will continue to work with the Department of Work and Pensions to finalise our plans to move the awards of people in Scotland currently getting Carer’s Allowance over to Social Security Scotland and on to Carer Support Payment. We will also continue to work with them on plans to deliver future changes like introducing the Carer Additional Person Payment and extending the run-on period, once a cared for person dies, from 8 to 12 weeks.

We plan to have a pilot for Carer Support Payment by the end of 2023, and launch it across the whole of Scotland in spring 2024.

Published responses to the Scottish Carer’s Assistance consultation

Published responses for Scottish Carer's Assistance - Scottish Government - Citizen Space (

Scottish Carer’s Assistance consultation: Scottish Government response – easy read

Social Security - Scottish Carer's Assistance consultation: Scottish Government response - easy read - (

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Scottish Carer’s Assistance will replace Carer’s Allowance in Scotland.

Launching Scottish Carer’s Assistance will be our highest priority following the delivery of Adult Disability Payment in August this year, the extension of Scottish Child Payment for 6 to 16 year olds by the end of this year (subject to the Department for Work and Pensions providing the necessary data) and our first low income winter heating benefit in winter 2022/23. 

As part of our joint programme of work to devolve social security, we are working with the Department for Work and Pensions to see how quickly we can deliver Scottish Carer's Assistance. We expect it will take at least 18 months to build because Carer’s Allowance is the most complex benefit we will replace in terms of its links with other benefits, including those delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions. We hope to have agreement on timings soon.

Carer’s Allowance is currently paid by the Department for Work and Pensions and provides support to unpaid carers who meet certain criteria and are caring for 35 hours or more a week for someone receiving a disability benefit.

This consultation asks for your views on proposals for how Scottish Carer’s Assistance could be different from Carer’s Allowance. It is split into three main sections:

1. Scottish Carer’s Assistance when it first launches. This section sets out proposals for how our new benefit will work when it first opens for new applications, including who will be eligible for support, benefit rules, and how we could link carers to wider services and support.

2. Extra money for carers in Scotland. This has questions on how Carer’s Allowance Supplement (an extra amount paid to carers in Scotland who get Carer’s Allowance) should be paid in future. It also asks about proposed new support for people getting Scottish Carer’s Assistance and looking after more than one person who is getting a disability benefit. We are calling this extra support ‘Carer’s Additional Person Payment’ for now.

3. Changes to Scottish Carer’s Assistance. After we have launched Scottish Carer’s Assistance, we can begin transferring benefits so people in Scotland who are getting Carer’s Allowance can get Scottish Carer’s Assistance instead. This process is known as ‘case transfer’. The third section sets out changes we propose to make to the benefit once this process is complete. The proposals are based on our work with carers and support organisations to look at how Carer’s Allowance could support more carers.

We also ask for your views on how the proposals could affect different groups of carers, and businesses in Scotland, and what we can do to make sure our new benefit works for everyone.

Read the consultation paper

Read our Easy Read version of the consultation

Why your views matter

The Scottish Government wants to make sure that Scottish Carer’s Assistance is developed and designed based on the real life experiences of the people who will use it, so it will meet the needs of carers and people who support them. We also want to make sure a broad range of people can have their say on how the benefit should work, so that it will be open to, and work for, the diverse range of Scotland’s carers. 

The responses to this consultation will be analysed and used to develop and agree policy for Scottish Carer’s Assistance, Carer’s Allowance Supplement and Carer’s Additional Person Payment. The policy will be set out in draft regulations which will need to be agreed by the Scottish Parliament before the benefit can be launched.

Feedback on this consultation will also inform the work to build the systems and services which will deliver this benefit. However, like all our benefits we will continue to involve carers and the organisations that support them in designing how Scottish Carer’s Assistance will work beyond this consultation.

We have also asked about future changes which we could make to Scottish Carer’s Assistance and your views on these. The feedback on these will be used to develop our proposals further.

Once responses to the consultation have been analysed we will provide a further update on our next steps.

What happens next

This consultation has now closed. We are looking at the feedback from the consultation and we will use this to develop our policy and plans for Scottish Carer’s Assistance, Carer’s Allowance Supplement and Carer’s Additional Person Payment.

Feedback from the consultation will inform draft regulations which will need to be agreed by the Scottish Parliament before we can deliver the benefit. It will also be used to shape our work to build the systems and services to deliver the benefit.

Once we have finished looking at the feedback from the consultation we will provide an update on our next steps.


  • Equality, Welfare and Rights