‘Easy to apply for!’ Unpaid carers may be eligible for benefits grant worth £308

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A benefit payment, unique to Scotland, is available to carers between the ages of 16 to 18 years of age. Since its launch over two years ago, the Young Carer Grant has supported 4,190 unpaid carers through the scheme. Currently, young carers can apply if they are at school, in further education, employed or unemployed.

Furthermore, people can apply once every year as long as they meet the age criteria and care for someone at least 16 hours a week.

Overall, the benefit payment stands at £308.15 for young carers who look after a loved one receiving a disability benefit payment.

This payment does not need to go towards caring responsibilities.

Unlike most other benefit schemes, the Young Carer Grant is administered by Social Security Scotland and not the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

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Anyone who is eligible can apply online at mygov.scot/benefits or by calling 0800 128 2222.

During the application process, claimants may be asked if they would like a reminder to reapply the following year.

Ruth Williams, a 16 year old young carer who received support through the Scottish Government’s grant scheme, outlined how the extra cash has improved her life.

Ms Williams said: “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.

“I found the grant very easy to apply for, with everything being made very clear and accessible to me.”

Paul Traynor, Head of External Affairs at Carers Trust Scotland, explained how the Young Carer Grant scheme has assisted young people up and down Scotland.

Mr Traynor added: “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.”

Ben Macpherson, the Scottish Government’s Social Security Minister, believes that the scheme is essential to maintaining the wellbeing and continued support of young people who are carers.

Mr Macpherson added: “Unfortunately, opportunities that typically occur during young carers’ lives, such as getting their first job or starting college or university, can often be limited by their caring role.

“That is why we used our social security powers to introduce the Young Carer Grant, which is a small part of our wider support and one way in which we aim to give back to these young people who so selflessly care for their loved ones.”

He said many young carers are unaware they could be entitled to financial support.

All unpaid carers in Scotland aged between 16 to 18 are encouraged to apply for the Young Carer Grant as soon as possible.

Applications and further information on the grant scheme is available to young carers via the Social Security Scotland website.

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