Scottish Carer's Assistance

Closed 23 May 2022

Opened 28 Feb 2022

Published responses

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

Overview

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.

Interests

  • Equality, Welfare and Rights