£600,000 for young carers
The Scottish Government has paid £600,000 to eligible young carers in new benefit’s first year.
Over 2000 young carers received a payment between October 2019 and October 2020.
The Young Carer Grant is a payment of £305.10 for young people, aged 16, 17 and 18, who spend an average of 16 hours a week caring for someone who receives a disability benefit.
This is an annual payment and young carers who still meet the eligibility should apply again once a year has passed since the date of their previous successful application. The money can be spent on anything that they like, for example a subscription to a video or music streaming service, new clothes or anything that helps them take a break from their caring responsibilities.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“The Young Carer Grant is the first benefit of its kind in the UK and I am delighted that we have been able to help so many young carers over the course of the past year.
“We have continued to work with key stakeholders throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure eligible young carers are still getting access to the support they are entitled to.”
“These young people play a vital role in our society and I am proud we can help give them the recognition they deserve.
“Young people often don’t realise that what they are doing is caring – it is just part of their day to day life. If you help someone who gets a disability benefit with anything from going to the shops or even giving emotional support, this could be for you. I encourage any young people in this circumstance to look into this, check if they are eligible and to apply. And if it’s been a year since you last submitted your application – make sure you apply again to get your money and treat yourself.”
Cameron, a young carer, now aged 19 from Perthshire said:
“I care for my mum, she has mental health issues and she is not able to stand or walk for a certain distance without support.
“I make my mum breakfast, I make sure she’s taken her medication in the morning, I help get her clothes, make her lunch and dinner and take her cups of tea throughout the day. I keep my mum company when I can and have my siblings who care for her too. I support my mum if she needs to go out and about, I’ll go with her.
“One challenge I face being a Young Carer is not getting enough spare time to go out and spend time with my friends. Also not getting enough spare time to study for college assessments and exams.
“I feel like the Covid-19 pandemic has made things more tough because I need to be there more often to support my mum, more than before the coronavirus pandemic.
"It was quite easy to apply for Young Carer Grant, I had the documents ready to print off so didn’t have any issues. I spent my grant on driving lessons.
“This year, I won’t be reapplying as I have now turned 19, but my younger sibling turned 16 recently so I am going to encourage him to apply because he also cares for my mum.”
Emma, a young carer, aged 17 from Perthshire said:
“My mum has a long term health condition which renders her physically disabled. I mainly help with practical tasks like cleaning the house and cooking for my family. I also help with small errands like picking up medication and doing the food shopping. I help my mum through her mental health difficulties as well.
“One of the main challenges I face being a young carer is just less time to do everything! Less time to complete things.
“The Covid-19 pandemic increased my workload at home because we were at home more. Also with my mum being high risk it has been pretty nerve wracking.
“I spent my payment last year mostly on personal things for myself like clothes. I also used it to pay for a lot of lunches for school.
“I will reapply for the grant this year and will probably put it towards university.
“Anyone that is responsible for another member of their household should apply for the grant because caring can really take it out of you so it’s nice to have something of your own for you. If you have all of your paperwork ready then it’s easy but if you don’t it can be quite tricky to find the right documents.”
Paul Traynor, Policy and External Affairs Manager at Carers Trust Scotland said:
“Carers Trust Scotland commend the Scottish Government for introducing the innovative Young Carer Grant last year, the first of its kind in the UK.
Many young carers have difficulty accessing and participating in opportunities that are the norm for many other young people. This grant helps to recognise the immense contribution of young carers in Scotland.
The Young Carer Grant has benefited many young carers to take part in more activities, pursue more of their aspirations and has helped to reduce social isolation.
Many young carers have benefited from this support over the last year and we would encourage all young carers who are eligible to apply for a Young Carer Grant.”
- Young carers can combine the hours they spend caring for up to three eligible people in order to reach the 16 hours a week requirement.
- To find out more and apply people should visit mygov.scot/benefits or call 0800 182 2222.
- The statistics cover the period of 21 October 2019 – 31 October 2020.
- The person or people the young person is caring for must have received one or more of the following benefits for at least the last three months:
- the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- the middle or highest care rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) including Child Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance - either: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (at or above the normal maximum rate), or War Disablement Pension (at the basic rate)