CARERS in Cumnock and Doon Valley are set to benefit from a major funding boost in the area.

Over half a million pounds is being allocated for additional support workers which will improve the lives of thousands of residents.

It comes after over 77,000 carers who were getting Carer’s Allowance from the DWP on 16 April 2018 were paid an additional £221 from the Scottish Government – totalling an investment of £17.2 million.

This includes 2,315 carers in East Ayrshire who will get £221 each in first payments from Social Security Scotland.

The Scottish Government wants to recognise the important role of carers and all they do for family, friends, and relatives.

The Carer’s Allowance Supplement was the first payment to be made by Social Security Scotland, which was launched in September 2018.

A second annual payment was made in December 2018.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “These payments marked a momentous moment – one where the most significant new public service since devolution became real.

“With this one payment alone, this new service helped 77,620 people including 2,315 in East Ayrshire. This is just the start.

“Once fully operational, Social Security Scotland will administer 14 benefits, supporting 1.4 million people and providing approximately £3.5 billion in payments every year.

Social Security Scotland Chief Executive, David Wallace, said: “Our priority is to make sure that people get the right amount of money paid to them, into the right place and at the right time.

“We were happy to have done this successfully for this first round of payments.

“In addition to making sure that people get the money that they are due, we were delighted with the general feedback on our service.

“We have worked hard to make sure our client correspondence is clear, that our service on the phone is friendly and informative and that people feel like they are being treated with dignity, fairness and respect in every interaction with us.

“This has clearly worked and is something we will build upon as we introduce future benefits”

Over two thirds of CAS payments in Scotland were made to female carers, while 31.4% payments were made to male carers.

Once fully operational, Social Security Scotland will deliver benefits for people on low incomes, disabled people, carers, young people entering the workplace and to help people heat their homes.