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More unpaid carers than ever before will get vital support from a new payment that is being welcomed in Argyll.
SNP MSP Jenni Minto says the introduction of the new Carer Support Payment will deliver help to those who need it most.
She is encouraging everyone who is eligible in Argyll and Bute to apply for the payment via Argyll and Bute Council.
A pilot project starting from November was announced by First Minister Humza Yousaf when he outlined improved support for unpaid carers in his Programme for Government.
From that time, those already in receipt of Carer’s Allowance will automatically receive the new payment instead of waiting until February 2024.
Unlike previous support, the payment will be available to unpaid carers who are studying full-time.
The Scottish Government says the benefit will be rolled out nationally from spring next year, resulting in an improved service to carers and joining up with wider services to give better access to information on the wide range of support available.
MSP Jenni Minto, said: “This new Carer Support Payment, delivered by the SNP Scottish Government, will ensure vital support is available to more unpaid carers than ever before in Argyll and Bute.
“Once rolled out fully next year, the benefit will be available to over 80,000 carers, including 1,500 who are at present unable to access support because they are excluded from DWP support as they are studying full-time.”
She said at a time of continued UK-wide cuts and cost of living pressures, the Scottish Government was determined to deliver support to those who need it most.
“This payment is a fundamental part of the first minister’s plan to reduce poverty and support both carers and people who are cared for. I encourage everyone who is eligible in Argyll & Bute to apply for the Carer Support Payment via the local authority from November this year.”
Julie Sinclair, manager of the Dochas Carers Centre in Lochgilphead, welcomed the news.
“Any additional support to unpaid carers would be welcomed,” said Julie. “Carers do get an allowance but it is very small compared to the task of being an unpaid carer.”