The Carer Assistance (Carer Support Payment) Amendment Regulations 2024: scrutiny report

The Scottish Commission on Social Security's scrutiny report on the draft Carer Assistance (Carer Support Payment) Amendment Regulations 2024

Summary of recommendations and observations

Recommendation 1: The Scottish Government should communicate its approach to phased roll out of Carer Support Payment and engage with a wide group of carers and carer organisations with a view to having an early alert to any issues which could arise with roll out.

Recommendation 2: The Scottish Government should produce a detailed communications plan outlining the impact of a claim for other benefits and the rules on backdating. This plan should aim to reach carers in education, people who may become entitled to Carer Support Payment in the future and existing Carer’s Allowance recipients who may be considering their future education options.

Recommendation 3: The Scottish Government should address a minor drafting error in Part 1A, of Schedule 1, paragraph 2A, Table 1 to clarify that the relevant dates that refers to 20 January 2024 for the purpose of backdating should refer to 20 January 2025.

Observation 1: A significant number of full-time student carers are expected to become eligible for Carer Support Payment in the final phase of the roll out. This will likely require Social Security Scotland to ensure resources are available to deal with a significant volume of backdating applications at this point in the process.

Observation 2: The new backdating provisions will add complexity during the transitional period, particularly for carers aged 16 to 19. The Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland will need to work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to consider how they can proactively monitor and solve any resulting issues caused by backdating during the transition period, with particular attention paid to exceptions in the 16-19 year old age category.

Observation 3: SCoSS supports the proposed approach to treat situations where a carer is in legal detention as a temporary break in care where this meets the criteria.

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