More carers eligible for Scottish Government benefit

Thousands more carers in Scotland now have the opportunity to apply for a new benefit introduced by the Scottish Government. The Carer Support Payment, which replaces the Carer’s Allowance, is currently accessible in Angus, North Lanarkshire, and South Lanarkshire.

This benefit expansion is a significant step forward for unpaid carers in these areas, following the initial introduction of the Carer Support Payment in Perth & Kinross, Dundee City, and Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) back in November 2023. The new rules coming into effect today also extend the eligibility criteria to include more student carers.

Previously, the benefit was available to carers aged 16-19 in full-time “advanced” education, carers aged 20 and above in full-time education at any level, and carers in part-time education. However, with the recent changes, some 16-19-year-old carers enrolled in full-time “non-advanced” education, such as school, are now also eligible for the Carer Support Payment.

In a positive development, some carers, primarily full-time students, now have the opportunity to have their benefit payments backdated to the initial introduction of the Carer Support Payment. The gradual rollout of this benefit to more local authorities is planned over the next few months, with a nationwide availability scheduled for 4th November.

For carers residing in areas where the Carer Support Payment is not yet accessible, it is recommended that they apply for the Carer’s Allowance to ensure they receive the necessary support without delay.

Expressing her support for the expansion of this vital benefit, Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, said: “I’m pleased to see more carers in Scotland now gaining access to the Carer Support Payment. I urge all eligible carers to apply for this benefit as soon as possible. I also encourage individuals who believe they may qualify to investigate their eligibility. This includes full-time students who are ineligible for the Carer’s Allowance. The contribution of unpaid carers is invaluable, and it is vital for every carer to receive the financial assistance they deserve.”

One of the prospective applicants for the Carer Support Payment is Keira Carruthers, an 18-year-old from Blantyre who has been caring for her father since the young age of 13. Keira is set to commence her HNC studies in August. Sharing her experience, Keira stated, “People often underestimate the challenges faced by young carers. Taking care of my dad can be demanding, especially on days when he is unwell or feeling low.

“The responsibilities range from managing serious medical concerns to providing companionship and keeping him engaged. Juggling my caring duties with my studies feels like a full-time job. It is crucial for young individuals in similar circumstances to receive support while pursuing their education. I am definitely planning to apply for the Carer Support Payment.”

Share this:

Similar Posts