THOUSANDS  more unpaid carers in Scotland will be eligible for a new benefit, if regulations laid last week in the Scottish Parliament are approved.

Carer Support Payment is the replacement for Carer’s Allowance in Scotland. It was first launched in November 2023 in three pilot areas, Perth and Kinross, Dundee City and Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles).

It will be available in 10 new local authority areas this summer as part of the next phase of the roll-out, starting with North and South Lanarkshire and Angus on 24 June. From August it will extend to Fife, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, and North, East and South Ayrshire and be available in the rest of Scotland in November.

Eligible carers who live in areas where Carer Support Payment is not yet available are still being urged to still apply for Carer’s Allowance to make sure they don’t miss out on support.

Since it launched, Carer Support Payment, unlike Carer’s Allowance, is also available to carers aged 16-19 in full-time “advanced” education and carers aged over 20 in full-time education at any level. These regulations will see eligibility further extended to some 16-19-year-old carers in full-time “non-advanced” education, such as school, from 24 June.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “Unpaid carers provide a huge amount of physical, mental and emotional support. The work they do is invaluable, both to the people they care for and to Scottish society as a whole.

“I am therefore delighted we are ready to roll-out the next phase of Carer Support Payment, allowing thousands more unpaid carers to get the benefit This is particularly important for those who aren’t eligible for Carer’s Allowance, but are eligible for Carer Support Payment, including many full-time students.

“Having spoken to carers in the pilot areas, I know Carer Support Payment is not only providing financial support to students who couldn’t get it before, but it’s allowing carers to study full-time who never thought this would be possible. I urge anyone who lives in an area where Carer Support Payment is available to apply for it as soon as possible.”

* More on the Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2024 ( here.

* Source: The Scottish Government