News In Focus
Young carers to receive new benefit
Teenage carers in Scotland will be the first in the UK to be given financial support thanks to a new Scottish Government grant.
A new benefit will open for applications on Monday 21 October, with the Scottish Government investing £600,000 to support almost 2,000 young carers in 2019/20.
The Young Carer Grant will be available for 16, 17 and 18 year olds who spend an average of 16 hours caring for someone who receives a disability benefit.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “I am delighted that we are using our new social security powers to recognise the extraordinary contribution these dedicated young people make to the lives of those they care for. This is the first time young carers anywhere in the UK will receive a cash benefit.
“With more responsibilities and less free time, many young carers don’t get the same opportunities as their peers and we want this benefit to support them with activities that many of their peers will take for granted.
“We are putting this extra money in their pockets in what could be a pivotal stage in their lives – when they may be finishing school, looking for employment or starting further education or training.”
Paul Traynor, Policy and External Affairs Manager, Carers Trust Scotland, said: “Carers Trust Scotland welcomes the Scottish Government’s innovative Young Carer Grant, which goes some way to recognising the immense contribution of unpaid young carers in Scotland.
“It is vital that young carers are able to live their own life alongside their unpaid caring roles and are provided with appropriate support to give them a better chance to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives. At this key transitional time for many young carers aged 16–18 years old, this financial support has the potential to make a positive difference to their lives and alleviate some of the financial difficulties that these young carers may experience.”
Young Carer Grant opens for applications on Monday 21 October. Applications can be made online at mygov.scot, by phone or by post.