Unpaid carers set for one-off coronavirus payment

By Democrat reporter

Unpaid carers are set to receive a one-off payment to recognise the additional pressure they are under due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish government is proposing the move, which would see an additional £19.2m investment in the Carer’s Allowance Supplement.

If approved by MSPs about 83,000 eligible carers will be automatically paid an extra £230.10 in June.

The announcement has been welcomed by Citizens Advice Scotland.

Somerville MSP
Shirley-Anne Somerville

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the payment recognises the “important contribution” made by unpaid carers.

She added: “Our collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus will see many of these carers experiencing additional pressures, particularly financial, right now.

“The payment will benefit carers who are on low incomes and already have some of the most intense caring roles, providing at least 35 hours unpaid care weekly to a disabled child or adult in receipt of higher level disability benefits.

“This additional payment would be an acknowledgement to carers that we know that they are doing even more right now, and we thank you.”

The supplement will be paid to carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance and have been living in Scotland from the qualifying date of 13 April.

Mhoraig Green, of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “This is good news, and is something we have supported calls for.

“Carers really do need additional support at the moment and this payment will help them give the person they care for the best possible support during the pandemic.

“This mirrors the increase to Universal Credit, and will provide much-needed income to recognise the increased pressures on carers’ incomes, and in many cases an increase in their caring responsibilities.”

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