Timetable for introduction of future benefits confirmed.
Plans for the introduction of further Scottish Government benefits have been published as part of an updated Social Security Programme Business Case.
This confirms that Carer Support Payment will be the next payment to be introduced. Social Security Scotland will begin a pilot by the end of this year followed by national launch in spring 2024.
A consultation on this new payment ran between February and May 2022 and the response to this is due to be published in the coming weeks.
Carer Support Payment will replace the Carer’s Allowance for new applications.
The Scottish Government is continuing to work with the Department for Work and Pensions to develop processes that will ensure those already in receipt of Carer’s Allowance will have their award transferred automatically to Social Security Scotland – so that people will not need to reapply.
To ensure that people are treated with dignity, fairness, and respect, this system was designed from the ground up in collaboration with the people who will be using it.
Despite a global pandemic, delivery was successful. The funding has already had a positive impact on those with low incomes, those needing funeral assistance, disabled individuals, caregivers, or young people entering the workforce, and those needing home heating assistance.
Ensuring a safe and secure system for setting up new payments and transferring awards is the top priority. I welcome the fact that, by 2027-28, the Government will have invested £7.3 billion in our social security system, supporting 2 million people each year. I am pleased with the decision that has been made and highly anticipate for these payments to be made.
Carer Support Payment will be the 14th benefit to be introduced since the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 was unanimously approved by the Scottish Parliament.
– Ben Macpherson, Minister for Social Security
Introducing 14 new payments in just over five years is no mean feat. We have built this social security system from scratch, working with the people who will use it to make sure that we provide an improved experience and one that treats people with dignity, fairness and respect.
Our delivery progressed despite a global pandemic. This was recognised by Audit Scotland who commended us for continuing to ‘successfully deliver new and complex social security benefits in challenging circumstances’.
We are already providing money that is making a real difference for families on low incomes, people who need help paying for a funeral, disabled people, carers, young people entering the workplace and to help people heat their homes. The people accessing this service are happy with it too – with 89% telling us their experience has been ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
Our success to date has not made us complacent. Establishing new payments and transferring awards in a safe and secure way continues to be our priority. We have gained a significant amount of experience and knowledge through our delivery to date. This is all reflected in the timetable we have announced. I look forward to these payments being up and running and seeing the reach of our new social security system going even further – investing £7.3 billion by 2027-28 supporting 2 million people each year.
The 2022 consultation asked for views on proposals for the Scottish replacement for Carer’s Allowance using the working title Scottish Carer’s Assistance. In line with the approach taken for other Scottish Government benefits, the name Carer Support Payment was chosen following research and testing of a number of options with people who will use the benefit, including, in this case, carers and carer support organisations.