Combined Shape Created with Sketch. !

Teen carers urged to apply for Scottish benefit

young girl caring at supermarket

On Young Carers Action Day (13 March) teenagers who look after others are being urged find out if they’re eligible for a grant available only in Scotland.

Since being introduced in 2019 by the Scottish Government, Young Carer Grant has delivered over £3 million to over 6,600 teenage carers.

However a leading carers charity says many young people who look after others do not recognise themselves as carers, as they see the support they give as just part of family life. As a result, they do not know they’re entitled to benefits.

Scottish Government figures suggest around 25% of those eligible for Young Carer Grant in 2022-23 did not apply.

The Carers Trust has joined Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville to urge teenagers who look after others to recognise their vital caring role and to apply for the support available to them.

Young Carers Grant, paid by Social Security Scotland, is available to those aged 16-18 who spend 16 or more hours a week looking after someone who gets a disability benefit.

The grant was introduced in October 2019 by the Scottish Government to help young people with caring responsibilities and is part of a wider package of support for young carers funded by the Scottish Government.

Paul Traynor, Head of External Affairs (Scotland) at Carers Trust, said:

“There are lots of young people caring for a relative, friend or member of their community who don’t realise they’re young carers and could be eligible for financial support.

"They might help someone get dressed in the morning, help with shopping or provide emotional support, for example. The person they look after could have a disability, illness or addiction.

“Young carers often view this as ‘just helping out’ or ‘part of family life’. It could even be expected as part of their culture. It is vital that all young carers know about their rights, what support they are entitled to, are able to have a life alongside caring and are helped to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives.”

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“I’m pleased that the grant we introduced has been able to deliver over £3 million to young carers in Scotland who are balancing their vital caring role with study or work.

“However, we know many young people who look after others see the amazing work they do as part of life and do not recognise themselves as carers and so do not realise they can get financial support.

“I urge any young person aged 16, 17 or 18 who looks after someone else to check if they’re eligible for Young Carer Grant and to apply if they are. It’s money they’re entitled to.

“The payment is designed to recognise the important role of unpaid young carers and allow them to take part in the same activities as their peers, whether that’s driving lessons, going on a weekend away or buying new clothes. The money can be spent on whatever the young person wants.”

Zainab, who is a young carer said:

“I spent my grant on a piano keyboard. I’ve loved to do piano for a very long time but I didn’t have enough funds to buy one as they’re very expensive. So I used my Young Carer Grant to buy one and I love it!”

Young carers may also be eligible for Carer Support Payment from Social Security Scotland or Carer’s Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions. Carer’s Allowance Supplement is also available as an extra payment for people in Scotland who get Carer Support Payment or Carer's Allowance on a particular date each year. These dates are available on

Sign up to our newsletter

If you are an organisation or individual who works with people who may need information or support on any of our benefits, sign up to our stakeholder newsletter.

We'll never send you content you haven’t asked for and you can opt out at any time.

Please enter a valid email address

Read our privacy policy