Young Carer Grant
Coronavirus - caring for someone
If you're a carer, you should check:
- coronavirus guidance and precautions on NHS inform, including advice on getting tested
- your council’s website for information on how they’re supporting carers and people getting social care services
- Scottish government advice for carers, including how to make a plan about who could take over your caring role if you become ill or need to self-isolate.
If you help someone with washing and dressing, check the Scottish government advice about when you might need to use personal protective equipment (PPE).
What is the Young Carer Grant
The Young Carer Grant is a payment of £308.15 from Social Security Scotland. It was £305.10 if you applied before 1 April 2021.
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:
- aged 16-18 years
- caring for someone getting certain disability benefits, for at least the last 13 weeks
- providing care for at least 16 hours a week on average, for at least the last 13 weeks. You can add up the hours you spend caring for up to three different people, as long as they are claiming certain disability benefits
- not getting or currently applying for Carer’s Allowance
- living in Scotland - check if you can get the grant if you’re not a UK Citizen or you’re a UK Citizen who has been living abroad.
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.
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:
- Attendance Allowance - read more about Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - the middle or highest rate for care. Read more about DLA
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children - the middle or highest rate for care. Read more about DLA for children
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - the daily living component. Read more about PIP
- Armed Forces Independence Payment - read more about Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance - at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit or with a War Disablement Pension. Read more about Constant Attendance Allowance
- an equivalent EU disability benefit - a disability benefit from an EU member state, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein. You will need advice about this as it may depend on which benefit it is. Find out how to get advice.
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:
- completing an online application form on mygov.scot
- filling in a paper form - you can get a paper form on mygov.scot. You can also ask for a paper form with a prepaid envelope by phone
- phone, by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.
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.
You might need to give Social Security Scotland some evidence to support your application. You can do this electronically or by post.
Uploading documents online is the fastest way to send your evidence. Check how to upload documents on the Social Security Scotland website.
If you've applied by post, you’ll get a letter from Social Security Scotland asking you to send them evidence. You should send photocopies rather than the original copies.
You only have to send 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 won’t normally be asked to send evidence to prove the amount of care that you provide, or the type of care.
Giving incorrect information
If you deliberately give Social Security Scotland incorrect information, you might be committing a criminal offence.
Read more about Scottish benefit fraud.
Extra help if you have a disability
If you have a physical disability, a learning disability or a mental health condition, you can get help with applying for the Young Carer Grant.
This help is provided by putting you in touch with an advocate who can help you express your views, get information you need and help you make decisions.
You can ask for an advocate by contacting Social Security Scotland and asking for the Independent Advocacy Service.
You won’t be eligible for the service if you already have someone acting for you, such as an appointee or someone with a power of attorney.
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 shouldn't affect your other benefits or council tax reduction.
If you get Universal Credit, a Young Carer Grant won't be counted as savings for 52 weeks. This means if you spend the payment before you get the next one, it shouldn't affect your Universal Credit claim.
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.
Get a young carer statement
Your council might be able to arrange practical help for you, like arranging for someone else to step in for a while to give you a break or providing extra support for the person you care for.
Find more information about getting a young carer statement.
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.
If you're paid by mistake
If you're paid a Young Carer Grant by mistake or you're paid too much money, you may have to pay the money back to Social Security Scotland.
In most cases, you can get the Young Carer Grant if you normally live in Scotland and you meet the other conditions for getting the grant.
If you're not a UK citizen, or if you're a UK citizen who has been living abroad, you might not be able to get the grant unless you're ordinarily resident in Scotland and one of the following applies:
- you're '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're likely to be habitually resident in a country if it's the place that you've chosen to live for the time being. Find out more about being habitually resident
- you're a refugee
- you have discretionary leave to enter or remain in the UK
- you have leave to remain under the destitution domestic violence concession
- you've been granted temporary protection as a displaced person
- you've been granted humanitarian protection
- you've been deported to the UK from another country and are not subject to immigration control.
If you're from the EEA or Switzerland and you want to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021, you need to apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. It's worth applying as soon as possible.
You must have been in the UK by 31 December 2020 to apply for settled or pre-settled status.
If you live in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
You might be able to get a Young Carer Grant if you live in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
The UK must be the country responsible for paying benefits to you, and you must have a 'genuine and sufficient' link to Scotland.
This means that if you live outside Scotland but would otherwise be entitled to a Young Carer Grant, then you can get it as long as you meet all the other conditions.