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Carer's Allowance: question and answer for stakeholders

Carer's Allowance Question and Answer pack for stakeholders.

How much is Carer's Allowance Supplement?

Carer's Allowance Supplement payments will be £221 in 2018/19. Each payment will cover six months.

Who qualifies for this payment?

Social Security Scotland – the new Scottish social security agency – will be paying Carer's Allowance Supplement to carers who live in Scotland and are receiving Carer's Allowance. They will work this out by looking at two qualifying dates each year to see who is being paid Carer's Allowance on each of those dates. Qualifying dates will be chosen by Scottish Ministers but have not yet been set. If you are not in receipt of Carer's Allowance on the qualifying date then you will not receive the Carer's Allowance Supplement.

When and how will I get it?

You will receive the first payment in summer 2018 and, as long as you are still receiving Carer's Allowance, you will receive a second payment around autumn 2018, followed by further payments every six months. Social Security Scotland – the new Scottish social security agency – will make this payment to the same bank or Credit Union account as your Carer's Allowance.

How do I apply for/claim Carer's Allowance Supplement?

There is no need to fill out an application or to get in touch with Social Security Scotland, or the DWP, to receive this payment. You will receive the payment automatically.

Will this affect my Carer's Allowance payment?

No. You will continue to receive Carer's Allowance from the DWP at the same time and same rate as you do now. The extra payment will not affect the amount of Carer's Allowance you get.

How often will Carer's Allowance Supplement be paid?

It 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. About who will get the payment

How will you know who to pay?

The Scottish Government will receive data from the DWP about who is receiving Carer's Allowance and living in Scotland on the 'qualifying dates' chosen by Ministers.

How many qualifying dates will there be?

There will be two qualifying dates per year. These dates will be chosen by Scottish Ministers but have not yet been agreed.

What if I have just moved to Scotland from England?

Social Security Scotland will pay Carer's Allowance Supplement to people who are living in Scotland and receiving Carer's Allowance on the qualifying dates. If your postcode is in Scotland and this is registered with the DWP you should receive the supplement.

What if the person I care for is living in Scotland but I live in England/somewhere else?

Your eligibility for Carer's Allowance Supplement is based on your residence in Scotland, rather than where the person you care for lives – so Social Security Scotland will only pay you the supplement if you live in Scotland.

Will I receive the supplement if I have an 'underlying entitlement' to Carer's Allowance but do not currently receive it?

Carer's Allowance Supplement will only be paid to people in receipt of Carer's Allowance. However, having an 'underlying entitlement' to Carer's Allowance can increase your entitlement to other benefits. Information, help and support on benefit entitlement is available from a range of sources such as Social Security Scotland - the new Scottish social security agency – the DWP and Citizens Advice. What if I am a carer but not currently receiving Carer's Allowance?

The Scottish Government wants everyone who is entitled to benefits to claim them. If you care for someone who is in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit, for 35 hours or more a week, you should consider applying for Carer's Allowance. You can find out more about the eligibility criteria for Carer's Allowance on the UK Government website.

However, you may want to get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Carers Centre to make sure Carer's Allowance is the best form of support for your circumstances, and the person you care for. It may be that you could be better off claiming another form of support.

Carer's Allowance can affect the other benefits that both you and the person you care for get. In particular, if you claim Carer's Allowance, the person you care for may stop getting certain benefits. So, it is important to get advice before making a claim.

About the impact on other benefits, support and tax

Will this affect other benefits I receive – such as Housing Benefit or Income Support?

No. The payment will not be taken into account when you are assessed for other benefits. It should not affect the amount of benefit, including any Housing Benefit, you receive.

Will this affect my income tax?

Carer's Allowance is taxable. Similarly, the UK Government has defined that Carer's Allowance Supplement is taxable, so you should let HM Revenue and Customs know about your Carer's Allowance Supplement as this may increase the amount of tax you need to pay. You will pay no tax if your taxable income is below the annual personal allowance (£11,850 for 2018/19). Find out more on the HMRC website.

Will this affect my Tax Credits?

No. The Scottish Government has agreed with HM Revenue and Customs that Carer's Allowance Supplement will not be counted as income in calculating your Tax Credits award. However, Carer's Allowance itself is counted as income for tax credits.

Will this affect my Council Tax Reduction?

No. The payment will not be taken into account when you are assessed for other benefits.

Will this affect my college student support?

No. Carer's Allowance Supplement will not be taken into account in income assessments for college student support.

Will this be taken into account as income in assessments for care charges?

COSLA (the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) issues care charging guidance to local authorities each year. In this guidance, Carer's Allowance is one of a number of benefits that may be disregarded in financial assessments for care charges. It is for individual local authorities to decide how they treat Carer's Allowance and Carer's Allowance Supplement.

About other changes to support for carers

What about the Young Carer Grant?

The Young Carer Grant will be introduced by autumn 2019. It will be a £300 grant for 16 and 17 year olds (and 18 year olds if they are still at school) who care for 16 hours or more each week, but who do not receive Carer's Allowance. More information is available in the Young Carer Grant Q&A on the Scottish Government website.

Will there be any other changes to Carer's Allowance when it is devolved?

The Scottish Government's immediate priority is to ensure a safe and secure transition so that carers continue to receive Carer's Allowance at the right time and the right amount. Changes to Carer's Allowance will only be made if they do not risk the smooth transfer of benefits. Ministers have committed to making an additional payment to people who receive Carer's Allowance and are caring for more than one disabled child.

When will the Scottish Government take over full control of Carer's Allowance?

The Scottish Government plans to deliver the Carer's Allowance Supplement by summer 2018, and the Young Carer Grant by autumn 2019. The priority in taking on full responsibility for all the devolved benefits is the safe and secure transition so that people continue to receive support at the right time and right amount. Further implementation dates will be announced in due course.

Contact

Email: socialsecurity@gov.scot

Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Post:
Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
7 Sep 2017
Carer's Allowance: question and answer for stakeholders