Unpaid carers may be eligible for £460 benefit payment boost this Christmas – are you?

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Thanks to its devolved Government, people in Scotland are able to claim an extra benefit payment if they are an unpaid carer. Carer’s Allowance Supplement is an additional benefit payment for those living in the country who claim Carer’s Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) at a certain date. The boost is paid to eligible claimants in Scotland twice a year. For 2021, the first payment was in June while the second payment is scheduled for next month, ahead of Christmas.

This year’s June payment was £231.40 and was available to people who claimed Carer’s Allowance as of April 12, 2021.

The pending Christmas payment is set to double this amount and be a staggering £462.80 for claimants.

Claimants need to have been receiving their Carer Allowance payments by October 11, 2021.

The reason this Christmas payment is being doubled is in recognition of the unique struggles unpaid carers have had to face and cope with during the pandemic.

Social Security Scotland also doubled the Christmas payment for Carer’s Allowance Supplement claimants last December for the same reason.

Last year, Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Scottish Government’s Social Security Secretary explained why the additional payment was crucial for unpaid carers in the country.

Ms Somerville said: “There is no doubting the positive impact Carer’s Allowance Supplement has had on carers in Scotland.

“And I’m happy to announce the next automatic £230 payment will reach carers in time for Christmas.

“I know this has been a hard year for many carers which is why we also provided an additional coronavirus supplement of £230.10 in June this year.

“This means around 83,000 carers in Scotland will get up to £690 more this year compared to those in the rest of the UK.”

Unlike the original Carer’s Allowance benefit scheme, Carer’s Allowance Supplement is administered by Social Security Scotland and not the DWP.

Anyone who is set to receive a Carer’s Allowance Supplement payment will receive a letter from Social Security Scotland detailing when it will take place.

Those who live outside of Scotland may be eligible for this benefit payment if they have a “genuine and sufficient” link to Scotland while living outside the UK in the European Economic Area (EEA).

While the eligibility date has passed for the next Christmas payment, applicants will be able to put forward a claim for Carer’s Allowance in 2022.

Carer’s Allowance Supplement is paid automatically and no application needs to be made by applicants of regular Carer’s Allowance.

Any claimants of the Carer Element of Universal Credit will not receive the Carer’s Allowance Supplement.

However, it is possible for a claimant to be in recipient of Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit, including the Carer Element.

On the Social Security Scotland website, there is guidance for unpaid carers looking for additional support and encourages them to weigh their options.

The Scottish Government states: “Carers are advised to consider their personal circumstances to make an informed decision on whether to make an application for Carer’s Allowance and advice is available from Citizens Advice Scotland or by contacting Local Authority welfare advisors.

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