Information

Young Carer Grant regulations: consultation

We are consulting on the development of the policy and regulations for the Young Carer Grant, a new benefit which will be delivered by Social Security Scotland.


Annex D: Outline of the Young Carer Grant Regulations

Format of the draft regulations

1. The legislative framework for Scottish Social Security is intended to be simple and accessible. The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 sets out an over-arching legislative framework and describes the different types of assistance to be provided. Regulations will contain the relevant provision for the Young Carer Grant assistance.

INTRODUCTORY AND INTERPRETATION

2. This section specifes the date of commencement and definitions used in the regulations, such as the definition of a determination to ease understanding.

Applications and Determinations

3. We want to make it easy for young carers who are entitled to take up their entitlement to the Young Carer Grant. There will be a range of ways to apply. Information on how to apply for the Young Carer Grant will be publicised widely.

4. Each payment will be treated as a one-off grant. Even if a young person does not qualify in their first application, if their circumstances change then they may qualify at a later stage.

5. We propose that a new application is made each year.

6. We explored whether young carers should be prompted to reapply for the Young Carer Grant. Evaluation of other grant initiatives for carers has shown that reminder letters can be seen as insensitive to changing circumstances within the caring situation. This is a particular issue where the cared for person has died.

Evidence

7. Evidence requirements and processes to check whether clients meet eligibility conditions are under development. This includes opportunities for using existing data sources, including gathering data from DWP. Evidence requirements will be kept to a minimum and will be clearly specified.

Valid Application

8. There will be certain conditions that need to be met to determine that a valid claim has been made. Relevant processes for this and for situations where the form does not meet the requirements, will be set out once service design is further progressed.

Date of Application

9. Applications will be assessed based on the eligibility of the client on a single day. It is proposed that the application is treated as being made on the day it is received by Social Security Scotland.

10. We have proposed to allow for advance applications to provide a level of flexibility to help ensure there is a smooth application process for clients and increased efficiency of the social security system by reducing the need to re-submit an application. For example, it may be possible to make an early application for the Young Carer Grant and the application to be held by Social Security Scotland for 28 days before the applicable date. In this case, a determination will be made using the information from the initial application. As Young Carer Grant is a one-off payment that can be applied for annually, this may be necessary for clients who have previously received the grant, but that need to re-apply before they become eligible again for this support.

11. After the Young Carer Grant has been live for over 28 days, we have proposed that in exceptional circumstances (these exceptional circumstances will be listed in the final regulations), that we will allow for some flexibility around retrospective applications. In these circumstances, it may be possible to make a retrospective application. The application will be treated as being made on a retrospective date specified - as long as the person is applying within 28 days of the date specified.

ELIGIBILITY

12. Eligibility will be determined via a series of tests carried out by Social Security Scotland. The client is the young person applying for the Young Carer Grant. The proposed eligibility conditions are:

(a) The client is aged 16 or 17 years old (or 18 if still a pupil at school).

(b) The client is not in receipt of Carer's Allowance on the date of application.

(c) The client is habitually resident in the European Economic Area ( EEA) or Switzerland and is ordinarily resident in Scotland.

(d) The client has not had a successful Young Carer Grant application processed within the last year.

(e) The application is received within the relevant application window.

(f) The cared-for person is receiving a weekly average of 16 hours of care over a 13 week period by the client.

(g) The cared-for person is entitled to a qualifying disability benefit.

(A) Age – The client must be aged 16 or 17 years old (or 18 years old if still a pupil at school) on the date of application. This age range reflects the upper age definition of a young carer in the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. Clients aged 16 years old, are able to claim the hours of caring immediately subsequent to the date of application to meet the eligibility requirements; this may include caring hours when they were 15 years old. For clients aged 18 years old and still a pupil at school, this will include those who are registered at a local authority managed school, a public school, a grant-aided school, an independent school and those who are home educated.

(B) Carer's Allowance – A client cannot be in receipt of Carer's Allowance on the date of application. It has been agreed with the UK Government through the Fiscal Framework that Young Carer Grant will not affect a client's entitlement elsewhere in the UK benefit system. Therefore Young Carer Grant will have no impact to a person's entitlement to other benefits.

(C) Residence – The proposal is that Scottish claimants will be defined as those who are habitually resident in the European Economic Area ( EEA) or Switzerland and ordinarily resident in Scotland. Broadly speaking, this means that to be eligible a person must have a connection to the EEA or Switzerland and that their current home is in Scotland. In practice, the process of demonstrating ordinary residence in Scotland, for example where it is clear that a person has lived here for a relatively significant period, will often be more than enough to also demonstrate habitual residence in the EEA (since Scotland is in the EEA). We have chosen to apply the condition of habitual residence to the EEA rather than, for example the Common Travel Area or Scotland, as a way of simplifying the process and to broaden the evidence base that an applicant is able to draw on to establish eligibility. This is consistent with practice across the EEA where periods of residence in one member state can often be taken into account to establish eligibility for social security in another.

We have chosen not to include a presence condition of the kind included in the UK Carer's Allowance eligibility rules. This is because Young Carer Grant is not a recurring payment and such a condition would substantially narrow eligibility, preventing young carers from benefitting.

There is a close intersection between social security residence conditions and the immigration rules, reserved to the UK Government, that restrict access to public funds. Our policy intention is to be as generous as possible but without extending assistance to people whose ability to live and work in the UK could be jeopardised through receipt of public funds forbidden by their immigration status. For that reason we have included a rule which excludes those who are subject to immigration control.

(D) Time elapsed – Young Carer Grant is proposed to be a one-off payment, which can be applied for annually. Social Security Scotland must not have processed a successful application for the client within the last year. This is regardless if they are providing care for the same or a different cared-for person.

(E) Application windows – to be valid, the client must meet all of the eligibility requirements on the date the application is received by Social Security Scotland. Early applications can be held for a maximum of 28 days before an eligible date and then a determination will be made using the information from the initial application submission. Retrospective applications will be accepted in exceptional circumstances (these exceptional circumstances will be listed in the final regulations) when a determination is requested within 28 days of the date of application specified. In these circumstances the client must specify through the application submission the date which they are requesting a determination to be made on.

(F) Average hours of care – The young carer must be completing a weekly average of 16 hours of care a week over a 13 week period. This must be verified through the application process for the Young Carer Grant support.

(G) Qualifying benefit – The cared-for person must be entitled to a qualifying disability benefit on the date of application. Social Security Scotland must receive permission through the application process to access the cared-for person's benefit record to check that they are entitled to a qualifying benefit. This data is currently held by DWP. The qualifying disability benefits are:

  • Personal Independence Payment - daily living component.
  • Disability Living Allowance - the middle or highest care rate.
  • Attendance Allowance.
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension.
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment.

ASSISTANCE TO BE GIVEN

Value of Grant

13. The Young Carer Grant value will be £300, which will be annually uprated by inflation.

Form in which the Grant is given

14. We anticipate that the majority of payments will be made in the form of cash through BACS payments. No other form of payment will be imposed on a client without their consent.

REQUEST FOR A RE-DETERMINATION

15. Re-determination provides a right for an individual to challenge a decision made on their application, should they disagree with it.

If a re-determination is requested, Social Secuirty Scotland will put aside the original determination and a different officer will undertake the full process of making a new dertermination, which will replace the earlier decision completely.

The individual will be able to ask for a re-determination without having to supply further evidence, but Social Secuirty Scotland will take into consideration any new evidence provided. If the individual is dissatisfied with the re-determination outcome, or if it has not been completed within the perscribed timescales set out in the regulation, they can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. Social Security Scotland will have a duty to provide an individual with the form required to initiate an appeal. Upon completion of the required form back to Social Security Scotland, it will forward the form along with all relevant information to the Tribunals Service for the appeal to be determined by the First-tier Tribunal.

Timescales for the re-determination process

16. Our proposal is that a re-determination request relating to Young Carer Grant should be made within 31 calendar days of being notified of the initial decision.

To ensure an individual is not prevented from challenging the decision if they miss the 31 calendar days limit, Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 allows for a request to be made late and up to a year after being notified of the original determination, if there is a good reason for the request not being made sooner. Where Scottish Ministers refuse a late request for a re-determination, that will carry a right of appeal against their decision to the First-tier Tribunal.

We propose that on receipt of a request for a re-determination of entitlement to Young Carer Grant, Scottish Ministers should have 16 working days to make the fresh determination. If there is a failure to make the re-determination within the 16 working day period, the individual will be informed that they have the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against the original determination.

Contact

Nicola.Smith@gov.scot

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