Young Carer Grant: questions and answers

Questions and answers regarding the package of social security support for young carers.

About the Young Carer Grant

Why is the Young Carer Grant only available to young carers aged 16, 17 and 18 year olds?

Young people aged 16, 17 and 18 are often at transition point in their lives as they move into the adult world. They may be finishing school, getting a first job, undertaking further study or taking up new leisure opportunities. For many young adults with significant caring responsibilities, their opportunities may be limited by their caring role. The aim of the grant is to help young people improve their quality of life and take part in opportunities that are the norm for other young adults. 

Stakeholders have been unequivocal that providing payments to under 16s through the social security system is inappropriate. Making payments to carers under 16 carries the risk that the Scottish Government would put young people at risk of financial abuse and may be pressurised into a caring role in order to get the payment. 

Do 18 year olds need to be in school to receive Young Carer Grant?

No this is no longer the case. During the consultation the draft regulations contained the stipulation that 18 year olds had to be in school to receive Young Carer Grant. The consultation felt the grant should be more inclusive so this stipulation was dropped allowing all young carers to apply regardless of their educational status. 

How will young carers apply for the grant?

The grant will be open to applications from 21 October 2019, and young carers will be able to apply by three methods;

  • Online at
  • By phoning Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222
  • By paper form that can be downloaded at and returned to: PO Box 10314, Dundee, DD1 9GN. They can also request the paper form with a prepaid envelope by phoning the agency.

Over the development period we spoke to 234 people, over 100 of those being young carers. During these conversations we tested our application forms and changed any part that someone struggled on. This has helped us produce an application with its users at the heart, that has been designed to be accessible to all young carers.

Will young carers be able to see someone face-to-face in a local office?

Yes. The Social Security Agency will provide a local presence, with a human face, where people can go to get one-to-one support from someone from the agency if required. This will be based, wherever possible, in places that people already visit so that the agency's services can be joined up with other related support. Depending on their preference people will also be able to engage with the agency through a range of additional options including online and by phone.  

Will young carers be allowed breaks in care?

Yes, of the 13 week qualifying period the young carer needs to care for an average of 16 hours a week. Of these 13 weeks we allow up to three weeks break in care. This is to accommodate young carers who care for someone who’s care needs may vary from week to week without having to start their application again.

Will young carers be able to combine the number of hours they care a week over multiple people?

Yes. Young carers will be able to combine the number of hours they care for up to three people to make the 16 hour a week threshold. 

For example, on average a young carer may spend eight hours a week caring for their grandmother, two hours a week caring for a sibling and six hours a week caring for a neighbour. By combining these hours the young carer would meet the minimum average 16 hour a week criteria and be eligible for Young Carer Grant.

Does Young Carer Grant stop the young carer applying for Carer’s Allowance?

No. If a young carer believes they are eligible for both Young Carer Grant and Carer’s Allowance we encourage them to apply for Young Carer Grant first. Once they have received this they can apply for Carer’s Allowance.

They must do it this way round as those in receipt, or who have applied for Carer’s Allowance will be ineligible for Young Carer Grant.

Will a young carer still be eligible for Young Carer Grant if someone else is already claiming Carer’s Allowance?

Yes. The young carer will still be able to access Young Carer Grant if someone else is claiming Carer’s Allowance for the same cared for person. 

How are young carers notified of any decision?

Once a decision has been made a successful applicant will receive an acceptance letter. This informs them that their application has been successful and the amount they will receive and when. This will always be the full amount, which initially will be £300 and then uprated with inflation.

If the applicant is unsuccessful they will receive a denial letter. This will let them know why they have been deemed ineligible and include a redetermination form. If the applicant does believe the decision is wrong they may return the completed form to Social Security Scotland or phone them on 0800 182 2222.

What can Young Carer Grant be spent on?

The young carer is free to use the money however they like.

Young Carer Grant is intended to support young carers to:

  • look after their own health and wellbeing, improve their quality of life and reduce any negative impact of caring
  • participate fully in society and, if they choose, engage in training, education and employment opportunities, as well as social and leisure
  • have an increased sense of control and empowerment over their lives

By giving freedom to the young carer on how they spend their money we can empower them to choose what they feel is best for themselves.


More information: Benefits for carers


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