Young people caring for someone on a disability benefit could get more than £300
Young Carer Grant, which is a benefit unique to Scotland, is marking its second birthday. By 31 July 2021, Social Security Scotland has authorised 4,190 Young Carer Grant applications since launch. With over £1.25 million in vital support provided directly to young carers from the Scottish Government.
The payment is available for 16, 17 and 18 year-olds who spend an average of 16 hours caring for a person or people who receive a disability benefit. Young carers can apply if they are at school, in further education, employed or unemployed.
People can apply once a year as long as they remain eligible. The payment is a £308.15 cash benefit and people can spend it as they choose.
The Scottish Government introduced this payment in October 2019, to help young people with caring responsibilities. It is one part of a wider package of support available to young carers funded by the Scottish Government.
Speaking at Broomhouse Carers Hub in Edinburgh, The Minister for Social Security, Ben Macpherson said:
“Young Carers play a vital role in our society and, as we mark the 2nd birthday of the Young Carer Grant, it’s important for us all to recognise their significant caring responsibilities and their remarkable dedication to helping others.”
“Unfortunately, opportunities that typically occur during young carers’ lives, such as getting their first job or starting college or university, can often be limited by their caring role. That is why we used our social security powers to introduce the Young Carer Grant, which is a small part of our wider support and one way in which we aim to give back to these young people who so selflessly care for their loved ones.”
“Many young carers don’t yet realise that they may be entitled to financial support. We want to get the word out all across Scotland that the Young Carer Grant is there and that we want those who are eligible to benefit from it. We also want to remind young carers who have had the payment before to apply again and get the money they are entitled to.”
Paul Traynor, Head of External Affairs, Carers Trust Scotland, said:
“Carers Trust Scotland continues to support the innovative Young Carer Grant, which goes some way to recognising the immense contribution of unpaid young carers in Scotland.”
“Two years since Young Carer Grant launched and we are delighted that many young carers have benefited from this support already and we encourage all young carers aged 16-18 to apply.”
“It is vital that young carers are provided with appropriate support so that they are able to live their own life alongside caring and have a fair chance to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives. Young Carer Grant provides financial support which can make a positive difference to young carers’ lives and helps to break down financial barriers that they may experience in pursuing their aspirations, such as taking part in leisure, education and socialising.”
Ruth Williams, a 16 year old young carer said:
“I am currently in my sixth year of high school and this year I am doing Modern Studies, Business and an Open University course about Law making in Scotland with the hopes of next year going to university to study law.”
“I care for my dad who is in a wheelchair. I spent some of my first Young Carer Grant payment on a couple of plants for my room and some new books as this is how I like to spend my downtime.”
“I found the grant very easy to apply for, with everything being made very clear and accessible to me”.