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Young Carer Grant

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus - caring for someone

It’s important to look after your own health as well as the person you care for. You can find the latest coronavirus guidance and precautions on NHS inform. It’s important to check this link regularly because the guidance might change.

If you become ill or need to self-isolate

If you don’t have an emergency plan in place, you might want to talk to family and friends about who could take over your caring role if you become ill or need to self-isolate.

It’s important to have information about the person you care for easily available, so that another carer has all the information they need.

If no one else can provide essential care for the person you care for, you should contact the local social work department.

Find more advice for carers on gov.scot.

If you’re late applying for the Young Carer Grant

If you’re late applying for the Young Carer Grant because of coronavirus, it won’t matter. For example, if you’ve turned 19 and not had time to apply because you’ve been ill, you can still apply. Social Security Scotland should accept your late application.

What is the Young Carer Grant

The Young Carer Grant is a payment of £305.10 from Social Security Scotland. It went up from £300 to £305.10 on 1 April 2020.

It’s paid once a year to carers aged 16-18 years, who do at least 16 hours of caring a week on average, but don’t receive Carer’s Allowance. 

You don’t need to have worked or paid National Insurance to get the grant, and it doesn’t matter what your income is or if you have any savings.

You can be at school, in further education like at college, in work or unemployed. 

Who can get the Young Carer Grant

To claim the Young Carer Grant, you must be all of the following:

If you care for someone for 35 hours or more a week  

If you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone you may be able to get a benefit called Carer’s Allowance.

You can’t get a Young Carer Grant if you’ve applied for, or already get, Carer’s Allowance. 

If you think you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance you should apply for the Young Carer Grant first. You can then apply for Carer’s Allowance after you’ve been paid the Young Carer Grant. Find out more about Carer’s Allowance

There are some situations where you may be slightly worse off by doing this. For example, if you delay applying for Carer’s Allowance you may miss the deadline for Carer’s Allowance Supplement. You can find out more about Carer's Allowance Supplement or get advice at your local Citizens Advice Bureau

If you used to get Carer’s Allowance

If you stop being eligible for Carer’s Allowance - for example, if you get a job or go into full time education, you can apply for the Young Carer Grant.

If someone else gets Carer's Allowance for the person you care for

If someone else gets Carers Allowance for looking after the same person you care for, you can still get the Young Carer Grant.

If you share caring responsibilities with another young person

You might share caring responsibilities with another young carer. You should decide between you who will apply because only one carer can be paid the grant for any of the people you care for.

You can take it in turns to apply. For example, your sibling could apply one year and you could get it the next year.

If someone else has already applied for a Young Carer Grant for one of the people you care for, you won’t be awarded the grant, unless your application is made more than a year later.  

What benefits does the cared-for person need to be getting

The person or people you care for must have been getting one or more of these benefits for at least the last 13 weeks before you apply:

If you’re not sure what benefits the person you care for gets, you can still apply for the grant and say that you don’t know. However, it will take longer for the application to be processed because Social Security Scotland will need to find out what benefits they get. 

If you care for someone that doesn’t get one of these benefits

You won’t get the Young Carer grant if the person you care for isn’t getting one of the benefits above. However you can still access the Young Carers Package.

The Young Carers Package gives you access to a range of discounts and opportunities, like cinema ticket offers and CV advice. The Young Scot website has more information on the discounts and opportunities available.

Does claiming a Young Carer Grant affect the benefits of the person I care for 

The benefits of the person you care for won’t be affected when you apply for the Young Carer Grant.

What counts as caring

Lots of young people don’t realise they are young carers. Some people care for more than one person at a time. 

The rules say that the care must involve activity that promotes the physical, mental or emotional well-being of the person you care for.

You must not provide the care as part of your employment or voluntary work. 

You might be a young carer if you help someone with an illness or disability with tasks like: 

  • picking up prescriptions

  • providing emotional support 

  • preparing family meals

  • getting washed and dressed

  • taking responsibility for housework

  • looking after siblings

How much time do you need to spend caring

You must have spent time caring in at least 10 of the 13 weeks before you apply. When you add up the amount of time you spent caring in the last 13 weeks it must be a minimum of 208 hours in total. If you spend the same amount of time each week caring, that is 16 hours a week on average. But you can still get the grant if there are some breaks, for example if someone you care for goes into hospital for a short time.

You can add up the hours you spend caring for up to three different people, as long as it adds up to 16 hours a week or more in total. All of the people you care for must get a certain disability benefit throughout the 13 weeks before you make your application. 

The 13 week period ends on the day before your application is received by Social Security Scotland.

It’s common to underestimate the number of hours you spend caring. If you’re not sure how much you do, think about the different tasks that you do, how long they take and how often you do them. It might help to make a list. 

How to apply 

You can apply by:

Social Security Scotland 
Tel: 0800 182 2222

Before you apply for the Young Carer Grant, it’s a good idea to tell the person you care for. Once you’ve submitted your application, Social Security Scotland will send them a letter. This is to tell them that you've applied for the grant, and that Social Security Scotland will check what benefits they're getting. Their benefits will not be affected.

You’ll be asked for your National Insurance (NI) number, and the National Insurance number for each person you care for. You should have been sent your NI number when you turned 16. If you don’t know it, you can still make the application, but it will take longer for your application to be dealt with. 

You can ask Social Security Scotland to send you a free text message or email when they get your application.

Sending evidence 

Once you’ve applied, you’ll get a letter from Social Security Scotland asking you to send them evidence. 

You only have to send one piece of evidence confirming your identity and one piece of evidence showing where you live. Sending more evidence won’t make your application stronger and won’t mean it’s decided faster. 

You should send photocopies rather than the original copies.

You won’t normally be asked to send evidence to prove the amount of care that you provide, or the type of care.

How it’s paid

The payments will usually go into your bank, building society or credit union account.

If you don’t have a bank account, check our advice on getting a bank account.

It can be paid to someone else’s bank account if you prefer. Make sure you ask the other person first and you can access the money when you need it. 

If you don’t have access to a bank account, you can ask Social Security Scotland to give you vouchers instead. These vouchers can be used at various retailers. You should apply by calling Social Security Scotland if you want to do this.

Can you get more than one grant 

You can only get one grant per year, and a maximum of 3 grants in total. 

You can apply for the grant once a year when you’re aged 16, 17 and 18 years. 

You can apply again 12 months after your first application. When you apply for the grant, you’ll be asked if you want to be sent a reminder letter in 12 months time, telling you when you can apply again. 

You’ll only be asked if you want a reminder letter if you will be 18 years or under in 12 months time. 

Will the money affect other benefits

The grant won’t affect other benefits or council tax reduction. 

What can you spend the money on

The Young Carer Grant was created to help young carers make the most of their leisure time and to help with school costs. For example, you could use it for driving lessons, socialising, school books, or going on holiday. 

Young carers also have access to a Young Carers Package, which gives you access to a range of discounts and opportunities, like cinema ticket offers and CV advice. To get more information on the discounts and opportunities available visit the Young Scot website

Where can you get more information 

Find more information on the support available, including getting a Young Carer Statement in Carer's: help and support

Get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Help online about the Young Carer Grant on mygov.scot.

Contact Social Security Scotland

Social Security Scotland 
Tel: 0800 182 2222

If your application is refused 

If you’re not awarded the Young Carer Grant, Social Security Scotland will send you a letter explaining why.

If you disagree with their decision you can ask them to look at it again. This is called a 're-determination’. 

Each refusal letter comes with a re-determination form. You can also request one by phoning Social Security Scotland.

You have 31 days from the day you got the letter to ask for a re-determination. You are assumed to receive a letter 48 hours after Social Security Scotland has sent it, unless you can show that there was a delay in you getting the letter. This can be extended up to 12 months with good reason.

Find out more about asking for a re-determination

If you’re refused the grant because the person you care for doesn’t get a disability benefit, you should tell Social Security Scotland if they are later awarded it.

You can access discounts and more in the Young Carers Package on the Young Scot website, even if you don't get the Young Carer Grant.

Rules about living in Scotland

In most cases you will be able to get the Young Carer Grant if you normally live in Scotland and you meet the other conditions for getting the grant.

If you are not a UK citizen or if you’re a UK citizen who has been living abroad you may not be able to get the grant unless you are ordinarily resident in Scotland and at least one of the following: 

  • are 'habitually resident' in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This is a legal test which is used to see whether some people are entitled to claim benefits. You are likely to be habitually resident in a country if it is the place that you have chosen to live for the time being, find out more about being habitually resident.
  • are a refugee
  • have been granted temporary protection as a displaced person
  • have discretionary leave to remain
  • have leave to remain under the destitution domestic violence concession
  • are a British resident who has been deported to the UK from another country.

Brexit update

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. However, EEA and Swiss nationals will continue to have the same rights to claim benefits as they did before, at least until 31 December 2020.

EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK should apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Your access to benefits might change if you don’t have settled status by 31 December 2020. We'll update our advice as the situation becomes clearer. Find out how to apply to for settled or pre-settled status

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