Publication - Factsheet

Young Carer Grant: questions and answers

Published: 20 Sep 2017
Questions and answers regarding the new package of social security support for young carers.
20 Sep 2017
Young Carer Grant: questions and answers

About the Young Carer Grant

Why is the Young Carer Grant only available to young carers aged 16-17 (and 18 if still at school)?

Young people aged 16-18 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.

How will young carers apply for the grant?

The grant will be available from autumn 2019, and young carers will be able to apply by a range of methods, including online.

Decisions on the detail of the grant, like the design of the application form, and how we will verify the number of hours caring, will be informed by what young carers themselves tell us through our Experience Panels. We currently have over 2,400 volunteers signed up to help build a system that works for the people that use it. The Panels started this summer, and will run for 4 years, using the principles of working, designing and developing together a Social Security system that better meets the needs of those who will be using it.

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 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.  

Concessionary travel for recipients of the Young Carer Grant

Why will free bus travel not be available until 2020/21?

It will take time to put the systems in place and pilot the provision of free travel to young carers. We have to be sure that a roll out of free bus travel will be accepted across the bus network.

Why are you giving free bus travel to young carers aged 16 – 18?

Free bus travel goes some way towards helping with young carers' travel needs for shopping, fetching prescriptions, staying on at school/college, and getting out and about for leisure and relaxation, too.

What about giving free bus travel to young people in full time education?

We constantly keep the eligibility criteria for the scheme under review and the current consultation will further inform this process. However, we do not propose to extend eligibility at this time to groups other than young Modern Apprentices.

Will free bus travel be extended to those in receipt of Carer's Allowance?

We launched a consultation on the sustainability of the national concessionary free bus travel scheme on 25 August, however, we currently have no plans to extend concessionary travel to carers other than recipients of the Young Carer Grant.

Young carers element to the Young Scot National Entitlement Card

What type of entitlements and rewards will be available for young carers?

We want young carers to have more opportunities to make the most of their time away from their caring role and education.

Young Scot will work with young carers to develop a scheme of tailored entitlements and rewards, such as sports and leisure activities.

How will young carers be able to access the scheme?

This will be part of the development work with young carers. We will make sure that the scheme does not create an added burden for young carers to 'earn' the benefits and entitlements under the scheme.

Will the young carers version of the Young Scot National Entitlement Card look different?

We will work with the National Entitlement Card Programme Office (NECPO) board and young carers to look at how changes such as a young carer identifier symbol could better support young carers.