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Who can apply for Carer Support Payment

Carer Support Payment is money you can get if you provide care for someone, and meet certain eligibility criteria. You must:

  • be 16 or over
  • usually live in Scotland
  • provide care for 35 hours or more a week, this includes if you provide care all day every day
  • not be studying certain courses if you're aged 16 to 19
  • not earn more than £139 a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses

The person you provide care for must get certain disability benefits.

Read all about eligibility criteria on the rest of this page.

Where you live

You can apply for Carer Support Payment now if you live in:

  • Dundee City
  • Perth and Kinross
  • the Western Isles

To find out if applications are open in your area, go to the Carer Support Payment postcode checker.

If you live anywhere else, you can apply for Carer Support Payment when applications open in your area. Or you can apply now for Carer's Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Find out more about Carer's Allowance at GOV.UK.

You cannot get Carer Support Payment and Carer's Allowance at the same time.

Carer Support Payment will be available in more areas from spring 2024 and across Scotland by autumn 2024.

If you get Carer's Allowance and live in Scotland, you do not need to apply for Carer Support Payment. Your benefit will move to Carer Support Payment. This is planned to happen between February 2024 and spring 2025.

The type of care you provide

To get Carer Support Payment, you must provide care for someone as an unpaid carer for 35 hours or more a week. You do not provide care:

  • as a professional care worker
  • through a volunteering scheme or charity

Even if you do not think of yourself as an unpaid carer, you might be eligible for Carer Support Payment. Examples of caring for someone include supporting them:

  • with their mental health
  • during an illness
  • with a disability
  • if they have an addiction

Supporting someone with their mental health

If you provide care for someone with a mental health condition, you might:

  • comfort them during a panic attack
  • stay close by so they do not feel alone
  • support them through a crisis
  • make sure they're safe
  • keep them company

Supporting someone with an illness or disability

If you provide care for someone with an illness or disability, you might support them with:

  • getting around
  • getting dressed
  • taking medicines
  • using the shower or toilet
  • cooking meals
  • food shopping
  • translating

The person you provide care for

You might provide care for:

  • someone in your family
  • a friend
  • a neighbour

You do not have to live with them or be related to them.

You can only apply for Carer Support Payment for one person. If you provide care for more people, you are not entitled to extra payments.

Benefits the person you care for gets

To be eligible for Carer Support Payment, you must provide care for someone who gets one of these disability benefits:

  • Adult Disability Payment – daily living component
  • Child Disability Payment – middle or highest care rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
  • Disability Living Allowance – middle or highest care rate
  • Constant Attendant Allowance at or above normal maximum rate with Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

These are sometimes called 'qualifying benefits'.

If you get Carer Support Payment, it will not affect the qualifying benefit the person you care for gets. But it could affect other benefits that you and the person you care for get. If you live with a partner, it could also affect their benefits.

Find out about how Carer Support Payment may affect other benefits.

Which country you live in

If you've recently moved to Scotland

You need to have lived in the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man) for at least 26 of the last 52 weeks, unless:

  • you have refugee status
  • you have certain immigration circumstances
  • you or the person you care for have a terminal illness
  • you’re a serving member of His Majesty’s Armed Forces
  • you’re a civil servant
  • you’re an aircraft worker, mariner or continental shelf operations worker
  • the person you care for gets Armed Forces Independence Payment or Constant Attendance Allowance

Read more about getting benefits if you’ve recently moved to Scotland. Go to Citizens Advice Scotland.

If you live outside of Scotland

You might be able to get Carer Support Payment from autumn 2024 if either:

  • you live in an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Gibraltar and have a genuine and sufficient link to Scotland
  • you or a family member are posted abroad as a member of the UK Armed Forces, or as a UK Civil Servant

A genuine and sufficient link is where you do not live in Scotland, but have a link to Scotland. For example, you have spent a significant part of your life in Scotland.

If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can apply for Carer’s Allowance. Read about benefits and support you may be able to get: 

If you get Carer's Allowance

If you already get Carer’s Allowance and live in Scotland, you do not need to apply for Carer Support Payment.

Your Carer's Allowance from DWP will move to Social Security Scotland. This is planned to happen between February 2024 and spring 2025. This will happen automatically and you do not need to do anything.

DWP will continue to pay you until Social Security Scotland start to pay you Carer Support Payment.

There'll be no gap in your award and the amount you get will stay the same. 

Read more about moving from DWP to Social Security Scotland.

Your age

To be eligible for Carer Support Payment, you must be 16 or older.

If you’re 16, you must have reached school leaving age before you can get Carer Support Payment.

Find out about school leaving age in Scotland at GOV.UK.

If you study

Find more support if you're studying while providing care.

If you're aged 16 to 19

You cannot get Carer Support Payment if you study one of these courses for 21 hours or more a week at secondary school or college:

  • Scottish National Certificates
  • Scottish Highers or Advanced Highers
  • Scottish Credit Qualification level 1 to level 6
  • Scottish Baccalaureate
  • No One Left Behind
  • another training programme supported by your local authority
  • equivalent courses in another country, such as A Levels or International Baccalaureate

But you can get Carer Support Payment if you study full time:

  • on a college course that’s not on that list
  • at university

If you’re 20 or older

You can get Carer Support Payment if you’re studying any course and you’re 20 or older.

If you work

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 such as childcare costs while you work.

It’s okay 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.

Learn about Carer Support Payment if you work.

If someone else provides care for the same person

If you and someone else care for the same person for 35 hours or more a week, only one of you can get Carer Support Payment. So you might want to talk to each other to decide who’ll apply. If you both apply, Social Security Scotland has a process of deciding who’ll be awarded Carer Support Payment.

You can get advice on how your other benefits might be affected so you can both get as much money from benefits as possible. Contact Citizens Advice Scotland.

You cannot get Carer Support Payment if someone else provides care for the same person and already gets any of:

  • Carer Support Payment
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Universal Credit carer element

You can still get Carer Support Payment if someone else provides care for this person:

  • as a professional care worker
  • through a volunteering scheme or charity

You can also get Carer Support Payment if someone else provides care for this person and gets Young Carer Grant.

If you are not eligible

If you cannot get Carer Support Payment, you might be able to get other benefits and support.

Learn about other support for carers.

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