Eligible caregivers in Scotland aged 16-18 can apply for the Scottish Government’s Young Caregiver Grant. This special allowance is only available to those who devote an average of 16 hours per week to caring for a relative or a person receiving an invalidity allowance. Unlike other benefit schemes which are administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this is administered by the decentralized government through Scottish Social Security.

Currently the payout is worth £ 308.15 in cash benefits and successful applicants can decide to spend it as they please, there is no need to go to family responsibilities.

The Scottish government introduced the grant over two years ago as part of a wider support measure, including the Child Care Allowance Supplement, to help unpaid young carers.

As of the end of July this year, Social Security Scotland had confirmed 4,190 applications for the Young Caregiver Grant since its initial launch.

Overall, the Scottish government has spent £ 1.25million on essential financial assistance which has gone directly to young caregivers.

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Ruth Williams, 16, is one of the many unpaid caregivers in Scotland who are eligible to receive the generous grant due to her young age.

The teenage babysitter said: ‘I am currently in my sixth year of high school and this year I am studying modern studies, business and an open university course on law in Scotland with hopes of going to college there. next year to study law.

“I take care of my father who is in a wheelchair. I spent some of my first young caregiver grant payment on a few plants for my room and some new books, because that’s how I like to spend my free time.

“I found the grant very easy to apply, everything was very clear and accessible to me. “

Responding to the Young Carer Grant’s need, Scottish Government Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson explained why the benefit scheme is so crucial for many unpaid caregivers in Scotland.

Mr. Macpherson explained: “The opportunities that typically present themselves in the lifespan of young caregivers, such as getting their first job or starting college or university, can often be limited by their role as a caregiver.

“That’s why we used our Social Security credentials to introduce the Young Carer Grant, which is a small part of our larger support and a way we aim to give back to those young people who are so selflessly caring for their own. relatives.”

“Many young caregivers do not yet realize that they may qualify for financial assistance. We want to make it known across Scotland that the Young Carer Grant is here and we want those who are eligible to benefit.

“We also want to remind young caregivers who have already received payment to reapply and get the money they are entitled to.”

On the anniversary of the grant in October, Paul Traynor, Director of External Affairs at Carers Trust Scotland, shared his thoughts on his legacy to come.

Mr Traynor said: “Two years since the launch of the Young Caregiver Grant and we are delighted that many young caregivers have already benefited from this support and we encourage all young caregivers aged 16-18 to apply. “

“It is essential that young caregivers are properly supported so that they can live their own lives alongside care and have a fair chance to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives.

“Young Carer Grant provides financial support that can make a positive difference in the lives of young caregivers and helps them break down financial barriers they may face in pursuing their aspirations, such as participating in recreation, education. and socialization. “

Applications are currently open to apply for the Scottish Social Security Grant Scheme for Unpaid Caregivers.

After completing their first application, applicants will be asked if they would like a reminder to reapply next year.

Those who are eligible to apply can do so via mygov.scot/benefits or by calling 0800 128 2222.

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