The SNP Government will introduce a new benefit for young carers in Scotland, in the form of a £300 social security payment.
The Young Carer Grant, the first of its kind in the UK, will be available to 16, 17 and 18-year olds who help care for someone in receipt of a disability benefit, as outlined below.
The payment will be introduced this autumn after regulations were laid in the Scottish Parliament.
Based on feedback from young carers, eligibility is being widened to include all 18-year-olds rather than just those in education.
In a further another extension of the policy, young carers will also be able to combine the hours spent caring for more than one person, in order to reach the 16 hours a week requirement. Young carers will also be able to take respite weeks without this impacting upon their application.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP said:
“We are using our new social security powers to recognise the extraordinary contribution young carers make to the lives of those they care for.
“This is the first time young carers aged 16 to 18 will be given a cash benefit. We will make these payments at what could be a pivotal stage in their lives; when they may be finishing school, looking for employment or starting further education or training.
“Young carers make an invaluable contribution to society but many have difficulty participating in the normal activities their peers enjoy. The Young Carer Grant will help ensure they are treated with the dignity, fairness and respect they deserve.”
The SNP Government is investing £600,000 to support nearly 2000 young carers in 2019/20.
The Young Carer Grant will open for applications in the autumn of this year and applications can be made online, over the phone or by post. The person or people the young person is caring for must have been in receipt of 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)
Child Disability Living Allowance
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
If the person they care for gets Constant Attendance Allowance, they must be in receipt of either:
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (at or above the normal maximum rate), or
War Disablement Pension (at the basic rate)