News

Young Carer Grant extended

Published: 03 Feb 2020 11:28

Most vulnerable young people now eligible.

Young carers going through the immigration process will be able to apply for the Scottish Government’s Young Carer Grant without fear of it risking their immigration status.

The change comes following lengthy discussions between the Scottish and UK Governments to amend Home Office regulations.

With a payment of £300 the Young Carer Grant helps improve the quality of life for 16, 17 and 18-year-olds who spend an average of 16 hours caring for someone who receives a disability benefit.

Since last year asylum seekers aged under-18 can apply for the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment after the Scottish Government reached agreement with the UK Government that it would not jeopardise their immigration status.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Young Carers make an invaluable contribution to Scotland however many don’t get the same opportunities as their peers as they have more responsibility and less free time. That is why the Scottish Government are using our social security powers to help improve the quality of life for young carers through this grant, the first of its type in the UK.

“We have also been pressing the UK Government to agree to young carers who are subject to immigration control receiving the grant. I am delighted that the UK Government has agreed to our request and from Spring this year, young carers will be able to access Young Carer Grant without fear of it risking their immigration status.

“This important grant supports young people 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.

“By extending the eligibility to those who may be subject to immigration controls we will ensure that they are also treated with the dignity, fairness and respect they deserve.”

 Background

  • the Young Carer Grant was introduced in 2019 with an expected investment of £600,000 from the Scottish Government in 2019/20
  • current regulations state that due to Home Office restrictions, young carers who are subject to immigration control are not eligible to receive the grant
  • the Scottish Government has been pressing the Home Office to amend their regulations to ensure that eligible young carers subject to immigration control will be able to apply for the grant without risking their immigration status

Best start grant for young asylum seekers