CARERS ALLOWANCE in SCOTLAND
Carer’s Allowance is a social security benefit for persons who provide regular ‘care’ for someone who is disabled. Carer’s Allowance is currently paid by The Department of Work & Pensions, but for Scotland, this is about to change.
In the last year we have seen a new Scottish Agency set up to deliver certain benefits that have been devolved to Scotland (transferred powers from the UK parliament) by way of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. This Act provides for eight different types of benefits – one of which is Carer’s Allowance.
Carer’s Allowance payments are currently £64.60 per week. The Scottish Government has decided to increase Carer’s Allowance to the same payment rate as Jobseeker’s Allowance, which is currently £73.10 per week. However, until the Scottish Government has the new benefit system fully up and running, carers in Scotland will still be paid by the Department of Work & Pensions.
Carers will receive a top up supplement (backdated to April 2018) twice a year from the Scottish Government, which will be the difference between the amount of Carer’s Allowance paid by the Department of Work & Pensions and the current rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The top up supplement will be paid in a lump sum, around every six months, until the new Scottish social security agency – Social Security Scotland – takes on full responsibility for delivering Carer’s Allowance in Scotland. (In future, Carer’s Allowance in Scotland will be called Carer’s Assistance.)
Claiming Carer’s Allowance
You don’t have to be related to or live with the person that you care for. Any savings that you have will not be taken into account, and you will also get National Insurance credits towards your pension if you are under pension age.
You cannot be paid extra if you care for more than one person.
You must meet all of the following conditions to claim Carer’s Allowance:
• You must be at least 16 years old,
• you must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone,
• you must live in the UK, and have lived in the UK for at least 2 out of the last 3 years (unless you are a refugee or have humanitarian protection status, or live abroad as a member of the armed forces,)
• you must not be in full-time education, or study for 21 hours a week or more,
• you must not be subject to immigration control, and
• not earn over £120 a week (after deductions)
The person you care for must already get one of the following benefits:
• Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
• Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
• Attendance Allowance
• Constant Attendance Allowance paid with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic rate with a War Disablement Pension
• Armed Forces Independence Payment
Claims can be made online by clicking the following link: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim
Or calling the claims & Enquiries team on: 0800 731 0297