Eligibility: duration of caring responsibilities
Many young carers said that three months was a “reasonable” amount of time to have spent caring before being able to apply for the grant. Some felt that in practical terms, three months would allow time for the qualifying benefits to be in place, and that there should be limitations on who can get the grant.
“Because it’s working with money, you can’t just hand it to everyone.”
However, some young carers were unclear about when their caring role would have started from. This included some wondering whether it would only count once you were part of a young carer group. A number of young carers said that they only realised that they were a young carer a long time into their caring role.
“Difficult to know when I became a carer. I didn’t know that was what I was doing. It was just normal to me.”
Some young carers were concerned that the three month cut off might exclude some people, for example if someone’s situation changed quickly such as a severe accident or recent diagnosis, and that there should be exceptions to this.
It was felt by some that having someone write a statement to verify that you are a young carer would be better than having set criteria. Others felt that having to have someone verify it might put people off applying if they weren’t already connected to support services.
Email: Catherine Henry