Coronavirus and delays in claiming
While you normally need to be aged 16, 17 or 18 to be eligible to make a claim, it is possible (for the moment) that if you could not apply before your 19th birthday due to the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can still qualify even though you are 19.
Your application will be viewed as being made on time if the delay in applying was caused by coronavirus.
What is it?
The Young Carer Grant is a payment for young carers in Scotland. It is paid once a year by the Scottish Social Security Agency (SSSA).
It is a grant so does not have to be repaid.
If you are awarded you can spend the Young Carer Grant in whichever way you choose to do so. For example, you may use it to pay for a holiday or to buy a laptop. You don't have to advise the SSSA what the money is going to be spent on.
Am I eligible?
To be able to get Young Carer Grant you must:
- be 16, 17 or 18 years old and
- have been caring for one, two or three people for an average of 16 hours a week for at least the last three months
The person(s) you are caring for must also have been getting one of the following benefits for the last three months:
- the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- the middle or highest care rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), including Child Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance and either Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (at or above the normal maximum rate) or War Disablement Pension (at the basic rate)
You must not be getting paid, as part of your job, to care for any person that you include in your application.
You cannot include a person you care for in your application if you are helping them as a volunteer for a charity or care group.
You cannot already be getting Carer's Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions, or Northern Ireland's Carer's Allowance Department.
What if I care for more than one person?
If you care for more than one person you can combine the hours of all the people you care for to achieve the average of 16 hours a week.
What if another young person also cares for the same person?
If you and another young carer both care for the same person only one of you should apply for a Young Carer’s Grant.
You should agree on which one of you is going to apply. If you both apply and, are both eligible, only the first person to make the application will be paid.
What you'll get
The Young Carer Grant is £326.65 per year. You can get this payment once a year from 16 up until you turn 19, providing you remain caring for at least one person for an average of 16 weeks.
You must to fill in a new form or call the SSSA every year that you wish to apply. If you do not make an application you will not receive the payment.
Can I get the Young Carer Grant if I already get Carer’s Allowance?
You cannot be paid a Young Carer Grant if you're already getting Carer's Allowance. To qualify for Carer’s Allowance you must be caring for someone 35 hours or more per week. If do care for someone 35 hours or more per week you may be better off claiming Carer’s Allowance rather than applying for the Young Carer’s Grant.
Carer’s Allowance is a benefit which you claim via the DWP and is paid at a weekly payment rate of £67.25. Carer’s Allowance can sometimes affect the benefit income of the person you care for. If you are thinking of applying for carer’s allowance or the young carers grant but are unsure what option is best for you then you can contact the Financial Inclusion Team (FIT) for a benefit check.
If you are not sure if you are young carer visit the Scottish Government website to find out more.
How do I apply?
You can apply online by visiting the Scottish Government website.
Alternatively, you can apply over the phone by calling Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222.
Can I challenge the decision?
If you are unhappy with a decision made by the SSSA about a young carer grant application you can ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a ‘re-determination’. You should ask for this within one month of the date of the decision you are unhappy with.
This time limit can be extended up to a maximum of one year from the date of the decision if you have a good reason for missing the one-month time limit.
At the moment, the one-year time limit can be extended if your request is late due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Social Security Scotland has to deal with your request within 16 working days. During the coronavirus outbreak this deadline has been extended by nine weeks.
If you are still unhappy with the decision following the outcome of the 're-determination', or if Social Security Scotland has not made a decision on your request within the set timescale, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.
The time limit for appealing is one month from the date of the decision but this can be extended up to one year if you have a good reason for not appealing sooner.
The appeal tribunal is independent of Social Security Scotland and will look again at your claim.
How to contact us
You can get in touch with the Tackling Poverty Team by emailing TPteam@northlan.gov.uk or by calling the team on 01698 332551.