Young people are being asked for their views on plans to deliver a new grant worth £300 a year to young carers.
Young Carer Grant is to be paid - on a non-discretionary basis - to 16 and 17 year olds (and 18 year olds at school) who are caring for an average of 16 hours or more weekly and not in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, but caring for someone who is entitled to certain disability benefits.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP said:
“I recognise the immense contribution young carers make to our society and I know from meeting young carers across Scotland that it can be difficult for them to access the learning, work and leisure opportunities that are the norm for their non-caring peers.
“That is why we are creating the Young Carer Grant. This brand new benefit will be available to around 1,700 eligible young carers from next autumn and will offer additional financial support that can be put towards improving their own health, wellbeing and life chances. The grant is part of a package of support for young carers which will also include free bus travel from 2020/21, subject to a successful pilot.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The SNP Government has been working with those with personal experience to develop this grant, which will be paid through Social Security Scotland.
“This is why the Young Carer Panel was established, which helps to ensure young people with lived experience can help to shape the grant.
“I now call upon carers and other stakeholders across North Ayrshire and across Scotland to make their own valuable contribution to what the grant will eventually come to look like.”
As part of the young carer package of support, the SNP Government is also introducing a young carers element to the Young Scot National Entitlement Card that will be rolled out from April 2019, offering tailored entitlements and rewards such as leisure activities for young carers aged 11-18.
The consultation on the Young Carer Grant is open until 10 December and can be accessed here.