To get Carer Support Payment, your ‘take home pay’ cannot be more than £139 a week. Your take home pay is what’s left after you’ve paid tax, National Insurance and expenses. Read more about expenses later on in this page.
Social Security Scotland will review your earnings and expenses to make sure you do not take home more than £139 a week. They’ll do this when you apply for Carer Support Payment. They’ll also tell you how often they’ll review your earnings if you’re self-employed, or if your earnings change.
It’s OK if your take home pay is sometimes more than £139 a week. Social Security Scotland will work out how much your average take home pay is.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) counts Carer Support Payment as income. If you go above the personal tax allowance, you may need to pay tax on your Carer Support Payment. You can contact HMRC at Income Tax: general enquires at GOV.UK.
If you get additional earnings, Social Security Scotland will count these.
Additional earnings are income that does not show on your payslip or accounts. For example:
- earnings from cash jobs
- fostering fees
- expenses that are not directly for your work but your employer pays back to you, for example children’s school fees
- earnings from working while based abroad
Payments that do not count as earnings
Some payments do not count towards your earnings. For example:
- payments from other benefits
- payments from an occupational or private pension
- contributions towards your living or housing costs from someone you live with who is not a tenant or boarder
- the first £20 a week from someone boarding in your home
- 50% of any other payments you get from someone boarding in your home, including rent payments and contributions towards bills
- income tax refunds
- redundancy payments
If you tell Social Security Scotland about expenses you pay, they might be able to take these off your earnings.
Expenses they can take off your earnings include:
- pension contributions (occupational, private or both), up to 50% of your take home pay
- childcare fees you pay so you can work (up to 50% of your take home pay)
- caring fees you pay for a disabled adult so you can work (up to 50% of your take home pay)
- work-related expenses you would not usually spend your own money on, and your employer does not pay back to you. For example, work travel, work clothes or phone calls
- self-employment business expenses, for example, heating, lighting or cleaning
When you apply for Carer Support Payment, Social Security Scotland might ask you to send supporting information about your earnings and expenses. This is to make sure they work out your take home pay correctly.
You’ll only need to send this if you’re self-employed or have expenses they might be able to take off your earnings.
If you’re an employee
You will not need to send supporting information about your earnings. Social Security Scotland will get this information from HMRC.
If you have expenses that Social Security Scotland could take off your earnings to work out your take home pay, they’ll ask you for information about those expenses.
If you’re self-employed
If you’ve been trading for more than 12 months, Social Security Scotland will ask for your most recent self-assessment tax return or finalised accounts.
If you’ve been trading for less than 12 months, Social Security Scotland will ask for your monthly income and expenses.
You’ll also need to send details of any expenses you would like Social Security Scotland to take off your earnings when they work out your take home pay.
You’ll need to send this information again when Social Security Scotland review your earnings and expenses at agreed intervals when you’re getting Carer Support Payment.
If your employment or earnings change
You must tell Social Security Scotland if there are any changes to how much you earn. This could include:
- starting or finishing a job
- starting or finishing self-employment
- changes to how much you earn
- changes to any additional earnings you get
- changes to any expenses you pay
Find out what happens if you have a change of circumstances.
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