The university’s Fraser of Allander Institute found that the support delivered by each unpaid carer in the UK saved the taxpayer £114,000 per year. In comparison, the annual amount given to claimants of Carer’s Allowance stands at around £4,000 per year. Earlier this year, a new benefit payment was rolled out in certain areas of the country to assist carers who have helped the social care sector stay afloat throughout the pandemic, on top of the already existing Carer’s Allowance.
Anyone getting Carer’s Allowance can choose to be paid either weekly in advance or every four weeks into their bank account.
For each week someone gets this benefit from the DWP, they will automatically get National Insurance credits.
On top of this, receiving Carer’s Allowance does not have any detrimental impact on the amount someone will get from other DWP payments, such as Universal Credit.
Unpaid carers in Scotland are also eligible for an additional benefit payment which is not administered and managed by the UK Government.
What is Carer’s Allowance Supplement?
Carer’s Allowance Supplement is an additional payment for people in Scotland who get Carer’s Allowance on a specific date and is usually paid twice a year.
Currently, the rate for this extra benefit is £231.40 per payment, which will be next delivered sometime in December 2021 for people receiving Carer’s Allowance on October 11.
Unlike its predecessor, Carer’s Allowance Supplement is managed by Social Security Scotland and not the DWP.
Combined with the average payment of Carer’s Allowance, unpaid carers in the region could receive a monthly payment boost of £270.
Last year, while the benefit payment was being proposed, charities such as Carers UK issued their support for it.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said: “This is an important act of acknowledgement for Scotland’s unpaid carers – the majority of whom have been providing even more care for their older, disabled or seriously ill loved ones during the pandemic.
“Many unpaid carers in Scotland will appreciate being recognised and this extra money will help them meet some of the extra costs they are facing during the outbreak.”
Emma Congreve, who led the University of Strathclyde’s report into unpaid care, outlined the importance of supporting this often “overlooked” and “undervalued” group.
Ms Congreve explained: “The support provided by unpaid carers clearly has value in that it enriches the lives of loved ones and ensures their safety.
“But because it doesn’t result in the transfer of money, it’s not recorded anywhere financially, nor are the carers deemed active in the labour market, meaning their contribution can be overlooked and undervalued.
“The true value of the care can’t be reduced to a financial sum of money but by demonstrating the economic value of unpaid care means we can illustrate the cost savings to the public purse and put the work, which is often done with very little recognition, into context.”
Those looking to apply for Carer’s Allowance Supplement should reach out to Social Security Scotland to begin the claim process.