The first payments made by Scotland’s new social security agency benefited 2410 carers in the Falkirk Council area, official figures show.

The Carer’s Allowance Supplement is a twice-yearly additional payment for people in Scotland who receive the Carer’s Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The first round of payments, which started after Social Security Scotland was launched in September last year, saw 77,620 carers across Scotland receive £221 each. A second payment of £221 was made in December.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Government values the important role carers play in our society, which is why the Carer’s Allowance Supplement was the first new benefit introduced by Social Security Scotland.

“The initial round of payments was worth a total of £17.2million to carers across Scotland, with £533,000 being paid out to 2410 carers in Falkirk district.

“The SNP is committed to developing a social security system that’s based on treating people with dignity and respect – and I believe that putting some much-deserved extra cash in the pockets of these dedicated carers is a good start to achieving that aim.”

The Carer’s Allowance Supplement will rise to £226.20 this year, with payments due to be made in June and December.