Young people providing part-time care for family or friends could be due £383 one-off annual payment

A young woman is holding an elderly disabled woman's hand as she sits in a wheelchair
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

The number of young carers receiving a grant only available in Scotland has soared, according to new figures released ahead of Carers Week (June 10-16). The Scottish Government said over 3,700 teens have received Young Carer Grant payments worth £1.4 million in the last financial year, almost 60 per cent more than the year before.

It is now urging even more young carers to apply and is asking family and friends to encourage them to check if they are eligible for the annual payment worth £383.75. Young Carer Grant is available to anyone aged 16 - 18 who spends at least 16 hours a week on average caring for someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit.

Young carers can offer vital support to family members, friends or relatives who have disabilities or long-term health conditions. This could include making meals, helping with housework, reminding them to take medication or providing emotional support.

Young Carer Grant was introduced by the Scottish Government in October 2019 to recognise the role unpaid young carers play and to help them access opportunities that are the norm for many other young people. Since launch, more than 12,000 payments totalling £4 million have been made.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “At the start of Carers Week, it’s heartening to see that more young carers than ever before are getting Young Carer Grant. We introduced the payment in recognition of the vital role young carers play, and to provide money they can use to take part in activities enjoyed by others their age that they might miss out on otherwise.

“I urge any young carer who is eligible for the grant but hasn’t applied in the past year to do so as soon as possible. I would also ask the family members and friends of teenagers eligible to encourage them to apply as they may not be aware of the grant or even consider themselves to be a carer.”

What is the Young Carer Grant?

The Young Carer Grant is a yearly payment of £383.75 for young people in Scotland only. To be able to get the payment, you must be 16, 17 or 18 years old.

Who is eligible for the payment?

If you are a young carer, you might be looking after:

  • Someone in your family

  • A friend

  • A neighbour

If you're caring for a parent or someone with children, you might also look after a brother, sister or young child.

What counts as caring for someone?

You might be caring for someone if you:

  • Help them with their mental health

  • Give them emotional support

  • Help them during an illness

  • Support them with a disability

  • Support them if they have an addiction

If they need help with their mental health, or support with how they're feeling, you might:

  • Comfort them during a panic attack

  • Stay close by so they do not feel alone

  • Help them through a crisis

  • Check on them throughout the day

  • Make sure they're safe

  • Keep them company

If they have an illness or disability, you might:

  • Help them to get around

  • Dress them

  • Give them (or remind them to take) any medicines they need

  • Help them to shower or use the toilet

  • Cook their meals for them

  • Do their food shopping

  • Translate for them

The guidance on states if you do any of these things for up to three people most days a week, or every day, then it's likely you are a young carer. You can view examples of what a young carer might do each day here.

The person you care for and their benefits

The person or people you care for must have been getting one or more of these benefits for at least the last three months:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - daily living component

  • Adult Disability Payment - daily living component

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - middle or highest care rate

  • Disability Living Allowance for Children - middle or highest care rate

  • Child Disability Payment - middle or highest care rate

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • Constant Attendance Allowance

If a person you care for gets Constant Attendance Allowance, they need to be getting either:

  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit - at or above the normal maximum rate, or

  • War Disablement Pension - at the basic rate

How to apply for the Young Carer Payment

Eligible young carers can apply online at or by calling 0800 128 2222 - call centre opening times are Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

Before applying, you should have:

  • Your National Insurance number

  • Your bank details

  • Details of the person you care for, including their National Insurance number, if you know it

Find out more about the grant here.

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