Consultation on new benefit.
Young people are being asked for their views on plans to deliver a new grant worth £300 a year to young carers.
The Young Carer Grant will be available to carers aged 16-17, not in receipt of Carers Allowance, who spend 16 hours or more a week caring for people entitled to qualifying disability benefits. 18 year old carers who are at still at school will also be eligible.
Launching the consultation, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“I recognise the immense contribution young carers make to our society and I know from meeting young carers across Scotland that it can be difficult for them to access the learning, work and leisure opportunities that are the norm for their non-caring peers.
“That is why we are creating the Young Carer Grant. This brand new benefit will be available to around 1,700 eligible young carers from next autumn and will offer additional financial support that can be put towards improving their own health, wellbeing and life chances. The grant is part of a package of support for young carers which will also include free bus travel from 2020/21, subject to a successful pilot.
“As with the benefits being devolved to Scotland, we have worked with those with personal experience to develop this grant. We have now reached the stage where we need views from all young carers and stakeholders to ensure that this benefit, which will be paid through Social Security Scotland, delivers what we want and what young carers deserve - a healthy and fulfilling life alongside caring.”
The consultation on the Young Carer Grant is open until 10 December.
Young Carer Grant is to be paid - on a non-discretionary basis - to 16 and 17 year olds (and 18 year olds at school) who are caring for an average of 16 hours or more weekly and not in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, but caring for someone who is entitled to certain disability benefits.
As part of the young carer package of support, we are also introducing a young carers element to the Young Scot National Entitlement Card that will be rolled out from April 2019, offering tailored entitlements and rewards such as leisure activities for young carers aged 11-18.
The Scottish Government established the Young Carer Panel to ensure young people with lived experience can help to shape the new Young Carer Grant with - and for - the young people of Scotland. The Young Carer Panel recruitment drive was launched on Young Carers Awareness Day 2018 (25 January).
It is estimated that there will be 1,700 young carers who will be eligible for the grant each year.