Unpaid carers entitled to £308 increase to benefit payment – are you eligible?
Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance
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Every unpaid carer in the UK is eligible to apply for Carer’s Allowance, a benefit payment provided by the DWP. Claimants get £67.60 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits. These qualifying benefits include the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the middle or highest care rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance.
However, any unpaid carers in Scotland, who are between the ages of 16 to 18 years old, will be eligible to receive a £308 payment boost thanks to the devolved Government.
Through Social Security Scotland, unpaid carers are able to get a Young Carer Grant as a means of financial support.
It is a payment of £308.15 made every year to 16, 17 and 18 year olds who look after people that get a disability benefit for an average of 16 hours a week or more.
According to Social Security Scotland, over 4,000 payments have been made to young carers across the country since the scheme launched in October 2019.
This equates to a total of £1.3 million in Young Carer Grant payments which have been paid to carers up until July 31, 2021.
Carers are allowed to spend their grant money in any way they wish but are encouraged to use the cash to pay a break away from their caring responsibilities.
Any unpaid carers who have previously received the grant and still meet the eligibility criteria, will be allowed to reapply 12 months from the date of their previous successful application.
Some 3,260 carers have received a payment, with 2,390 claimants getting at least one payment and 870 clients getting two.
Social Security Scotland estimates that 99 percent of applications came from clients who cared for only one person, while less than one percent of unpaid carers looked after two people.
Glasgow was found to have the most applications for Young Carers Grants with 14 percent of all applications.
This was followed by North Lanarkshire at eight percent and Fife at seven percent.
Earlier this year, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, outlined the importance of having the scheme continue as a safety net for young and unpaid carers.
Ms Somerville said: “Young carers play a vital role across our society. It is fantastic that so many have received this financial support since the benefit was introduced.
“People may not realise what they do at home is caring – you could see it as just part of your day to day life.
“It is true all year round but it is worth emphasising again on Young Carers Action Day that people should check if they are entitled to The Young Carer Grant.
”I encourage young people who help someone that receives disability support to check if they could get this additional financial support.”
Currently, there is not a corresponding or similar grant available to unpaid carers in England.
All Young Carer Grants are administered by Social Security Scotland and anyone looking for support is encouraged to reach out.
All applicants will need to share personal information about their caring responsibilities, including how many hours they work.
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