Care: Research shows a quarter of UK adults are carers
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Similar to the well-known Carers’s Allowance, a Young Carer Grant which is available to those between the ages of 16 to 18 years of age if they look after someone for 16 hours a week. The person who the claimant is caring for must be in receipt of a disability benefit for the Young Carer Grant to be handed out. However, the payment is only available to those who are residents in Scotland and not those who live in the rest of the UK.
Those who qualify must either be at school, in further education, employed or unemployed, and can apply every year they are eligible.
Unlike other benefit payments which must go towards specific utilities, the Young Carer Grant of £308.15 can be spent on anything the claimant wants.
While other benefits are managed by the DWP, this specific benefit is managed by Social Security Scotland, the Scottish Government’s DWP equivalent.
It was introduced in 2019 in an effort to give aid to young unpaid carers who are in need of assistance as part of a wider financial package.
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As of December 2021, over 4,500 payments have been made to young carers across Scotland since its initial launch.
Overall, a grant total of £1.4million in Young Carer Grant payments have been made up to October 31 2021.
Last October, Social Security Scotland celebrated the two-year anniversary of the Young Carer Grant in a bid to promote the payment for those who are unaware of it who may be eligible.
At the event, Ben Macpherson, the Minister for Social Security, explained: “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, the head of external affairs at Carers Trust Scotland, issued his support for the Scottish Government’s benefit payment to mark its second anniversary last year.
Mr Traynor 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.”
One of the young unpaid carers eligible for the grant, Ruth Williams, 16, shared how the Young Carer Grant has helped her enjoy life outside of her everyday responsibilities.
Ms Williams explained: “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.”
Those looking to apply for the Young Carer Grant can do so via the Social Security Scotland website or by calling 0800 128 2222.
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