Claimants of Carer’s Allowance urged to share experiences as new benefit is rolled out | Personal Finance | Finance

The Scottish Government wants to hear from those with experiences of caring as they design how Carer’s Assistance will work. A full national rollout of the devolved benefit is set to begin in Spring 2024.

The new benefit will provide a payment of £69.70 a week for those who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week, if the person cared for receives certain benefits.

In addition to the weekly payments, claimants will maintain the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, with recipients to get two additional payments of £245.70 each year.

Social Security Scotland is overseeing the devolved payment and the group has already spoken to 160 carers about their experience.

Carers in Scotland can share their views on a five-minute online survey available on the Scottish Government website.

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Information given in the form will remain confidential. Guidance about the survey states: “No one will be able to identify you in any of the reported results.

“Only people working in the research team will be able to see your name and contact details. Taking part will not affect any of your applications or benefits.

“No one involved in making benefit decisions will have access to your answers or know if you’ve taken part.”

The Scottish Government launched a consultation setting out the plans for the new benefit in February last year.

A report from the Scottish Government states: “We are working with carers, support organisations and the wider public to identify the priority changes to improve Scottish Carer’s Assistance in future and to deliver these as soon as possible.

“When we have introduced our new benefit and completed Case Transfer for Scottish Carer’s Assistance, we will look to introduce further changes that help remove barriers to education, recognise a wider variety of caring situations, provide more financial stability to carers, and, for those carers who want to and for whom it is feasible, make it easier to take up and maintain employment.”

Carer’s Allowance is increasing by 10.1 percent this April along with many other benefits, including Attendance Allowance and Universal Credit.

State pension payments will also increase by 10.1 percent for both the basic state pension and the new state pension.

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Claimants must also be 16 or over, have been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years, and not be in full time education.

People on the benefit must also have earnings of £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

The care the claimant provides can include assistance with tasks such as washing or cooking, or taking the person to a doctor’s appointment.

A person cannot get the full amount of Carer’s Allowance while claiming their state pension. In this case, they can only claim the benefit if their state pension is less than £69.70, in which case their benefit payment will make up the difference.

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