Social Security Experience Panels: Young Carer Grant - visual summary of findings

Young Carer Panel views expressed in a survey about what the new Young Carer Grant should be like.

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Social Security Experience Panels: Young Carer Grant- Visual Summary of Research Findings


The Scottish Government is becoming responsible for some of the benefits previously delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). As part of work to prepare for this change, Scottish Government set up the Social Security Experience Panels.

The Experience Panels are made up over 2,400 people from across Scotland who have recent experience of at least one of the benefits coming to Scotland.

The Scottish Government is working with Experience Panel members to create Scotland’s new social security system.

About the research

This report summarises research on the Young Carer Grant that took place between 9 November and 10 December 2018.

Who took part?

Half of the people who took part were aged between 12 and 15.

A third were aged 16 or 17.

Almost all of them lived with the person or people they care for.

A third said that they regularly care for more than one person

Two thirds said they care for a parent.

More than a third said they care for a brother or sister.

One in ten said they care for a grandparent.

Finding out about the Young Carer Grant

People said they would want to see information about the grant:

  • At their young carer groups
  • At school
  • On social media – including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram

How to apply

Most people said that they would apply online, either on a computer or on their phone.

Some people said they would apply in person with someone helping them.

People said that it would be simpler to apply if:

  • The questions had answers you can tick
  • The form was short
  • Instructions were included with the form

Proving that you are a young carer

Most people said they would feel “ok” with the person that they care for confirming their application.

Those who said that they would not feel “ok” with this, said it was because the person they care for:

  • might not be able to because of their disability
  • or they might not be willing to

In order to get the Young Carer Grant the person that is cared for would need to receive one of these “qualifying” benefits:

  • 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

Most people said that they would find it “very easy” or “easy” to find out whether the person they care for gets one of these benefits.

This was because:

  • They felt they could ask
  • They already know about the household finances

But some said they would find it difficult to find out because:

  • The person they care for might not know
  • They would find it difficult to ask

Who should get the Young Carer Grant?

Time spent caring

Almost half of people who took part said that it would be “very easy” or “easy” to answer a question on if they care for someone on average at least 16 hours per week.

Those who didn’t think it would be easy to answer this question said that it was because:

  • The number of hours changes a lot each week
  • They were too busy to figure it out
  • It can be difficult to know what counts as caring

"A lot of the care given by young people cannot be easily quantified – for example emotional support and the impact of caring. Young people don’t count hours of caring they just do it and a lot of caring situations are very unpredictable and hours are different."

Adding up hours caring for different people

People were asked whether it should be possible to add up the hours you care for more than one person to meet the 16 hours per week average. Most people thought you should be able to do this.

This was because:

  • It is still more than 16 hours caring
  • Caring for more than one person might be more difficult

When there is more than one carer in the household

People felt that all young carers should get the grant if they meet the conditions, even if someone else already gets Carer’s Allowance for caring for the same person.

This was because:

  • The amount of care they provide is still the same
  • It would be unfair for only one of the carers to be able to get a payment

Paying the grant

Most people said that it wouldn’t cause a problem for them for the Young Carer Grant to be paid into their bank account.

But about a quarter said that this would cause them a problem, in particular if they didn’t have a bank account.

The impact of the grant

People said that they felt the grant would have a positive impact for young carers who are able to get the grant. This included that it could open up opportunities for them that they wouldn’t otherwise have.

But some people were concerned that only giving the grant to young carers who are 16 or 17 (or 18 if they are at school) would mean that some people who need support wouldn’t get the grant.

"I think it should be up to people that aren’t at school especially because they may have had to leave school due to caring. Possibly open up to older bracket to provide more opportunities. Especially if you're pushing for education- open to college/uni at very least."

Next steps

This research will be used to help make decisions about what the new Young Carer Grant will be like. The Scottish Government is going to keep talking to young carers and young carer organisations as the grant is designed to make sure they are included in important decisions.

Young carers who took part in this research have been invited to stay involved through the Young Carer Panel, which will give them the chance to give their views and to help design and test things like the application form and how the new grant is advertised.


Email: Catherine Henry

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