Call for young carers to take up Carers Allowance
Date: 13th June 2017
Category: Young carers
Young adult carers are the focus of a new campaign between the Scottish Government and Young Scot to raise awareness of what support they could be entitled to.
Launched on June 12, the social media and digital campaign will aim to reach carers aged 16-24 who may be entitled to Carer's Allowance but are not claiming it, using platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to reach young adults.
An estimated 49,000 people in Scotland aged 16-24 are carers.
Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said:
"Carers make an immense contribution to our society. Their dedication and commitment to caring for loved ones - often making significant personal sacrifices to do so - deserves our thanks and respect.
"That is why this government is committed to doing all we can to help carers. Whether it is strengthening the rights of carers through legislation, committing to increasing the Carer's Allowance with our new social security powers, or working with our partners to raise awareness with carers of how they can access the support they're entitled to.
"The UK benefit system continues to fail in making sure that all those entitled to support know that they are and know how to get it. Young adult carers in particular are in that group and should not have the added worry of financial pressures along with their caring responsibilities.
"So we are taking the opportunity of Carers Week, when we celebrate the vitally important contribution carers make, to encourage young Carers to find out what they could be entitled to."
Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: "Young adult carers provide a huge amount of support to their loved ones.
"We have been lucky enough to work with some of these inspirational young people here at Young Scot and from hearing about their experiences, it's essential we do everything we can to make them aware of the support available to them."
Lauren Baigrie, 18, a young carer from Falkirk, said:
"Being a young carer isn't always an everyday thing. My mum has good days and bad days and days in between. Some days my mum relies on me a lot, other days she doesn't need me at all. It's always been like that, ever since I can remember.
"Being a young carer has at times been tough, it's impacted my life in many ways, I'm really good at organising my time but sometimes try to fit too much into it, I've learned to be independent but have sometimes missed out on normal time with my mum, I manage money well and I am really switched on to current affairs. My social life has been restricted but I think I'm making real efforts to change that. Being a carer for me is part of who I am, it's part of my identity and I wouldn't change it."
- Around 3,900 people in Scotland aged 16-24 are in receipt of Carer's Allowance.
- Carer's Allowance is one of eleven benefits being devolved to the Scottish Parliament. It will be delivered by Scotland's new social security agency.
- Carer's Allowance is currently administered by the Department of Work and Pensions. The weekly rate of £62.70 is available to those aged 16 and over who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit.
- More details on eligibility for Carer's Allowance is available on the Young Scot website.
Social Security Secretary Angela Constance has confirmed that the Scottish Government would invest more than £30 million a year to increase Carer's Allowance to the same level as Jobseeker's Allowance to be delivered by Summer 2018, subject to agreement from the Scottish Parliament.