MORE than 2,500 carers in North Ayrshire are amongst 73,000 across Scotland who will receive the first payment of their new Carer’s Allowance Supplement from mid-September, back-dated to April.

Worth more than £1 million a year to carers in North Ayrshire, each will get a supplementary payment of £221, equivalent of an extra £8.50 per week. This represents an increase of 13 per cent on the Carer’s Allowance currently received from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

This new benefit will be paid twice a year by Social Security Scotland, the first major new public service to be created since devolution.

Carers will receive letters from Social Security Scotland from next week, so they know in advance to expect a payment.

Carers are not required to do anything to receive this payment which will happen automatically and be paid using the same method as the Carer’s Allowance from the DWP.

Local MSP Kenneth Gibson said: “Making these payments represents an historic moment, launching a new public service delivering a social security system that treats people with dignity, fairness and respect.

“The SNP Government has always supported the idea that Carer’s Allowance should be the same rate as Jobseeker’s Allowance, given the enormous contribution that carers make to Scottish society and this supplementary payment allows us to put more money in the pockets of carers as quickly as possible.

“I am delighted we are effectively using Scotland’s new social security powers to guarantee this additional payment and investing in our carers, including 2,528 here in North Ayrshire.”