New benefit for eligible teenagers to launch this autumn.
Young carers in Scotland aged 16 to 18 could benefit from a new £300 social security payment.
The Young Carer Grant is the first of its kind in the UK. It will be available to 16, 17 and 18 year olds who help care for someone in receipt of a certain type of disability benefit.
The payment will be introduced this autumn after regulations were laid in the Scottish Parliament.
The government announced eligibility is being widened, based on feedback from young carers, to include all 18-year-olds, not just those in education.
In a further another extension of the policy, young carers will now also be able to combine the hours they spend caring for more than one eligible person in order to reach the 16 hours a week requirement.
Young carers will also be able to take respite weeks without this impacting upon their application.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“We are using our new social security powers to recognise the extraordinary contribution young carers make to the lives of those they care for.
“This is the first time young carers aged 16 to 18 will be given a cash benefit to spend as they choose. We will be making these payments at what could be a pivotal stage in their lives – when they may be finishing school, looking for employment or starting further education or training.
“Young carers make an invaluable contribution to society but many have difficulty participating in the normal activities their peers can enjoy. The Young Carer Grant will help ensure they are treated with the dignity, fairness and respect they deserve.”
The Scottish Government is investing £600,000 to support nearly 2000 young carers in 2019/20.
The Young Carer Grant will open for applications in autumn this year and applications can be made online, over the phone or by post.
The person or people the young person is caring for must have been getting one or more of the following benefits for at least the last three months:
• the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
• the middle or highest care rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
• Child Disability Living Allowance
• Attendance Allowance
• Armed Forces Independence Payment
• Constant Attendance Allowance
If the person they care for gets Constant Attendance Allowance, they need to be getting either:
• Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (at or above the normal maximum rate), or
• War Disablement Pension (at the basic rate)