Help for carers in Scotland

In Scotland, if you provide regular care for someone, you are entitled to a carer's assessment. This is called an Adult Carer Support Plan, or a Young Carer Statement if you are under 18.

You might be able to get funding for a break for yourself and practical support with the care you provide.

Carers can ask their employers for support. Most employees have a statutory right to request flexible working hours and to take resonable time off work to deal with an emergency. Some employers offer additional contractual rights to their staff.

Financial support

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for carers who provide at least 35 hours of care a week. It doesn’t depend on what National Insurance you’ve paid or any savings (it’s ‘non-means-tested’). But it's worth checking if it could affect any other benefits your or your household get.

If you get Carer’s Allowance, you might also qualify for an extra payment – the Carer’s Allowance Supplement. Getting it won’t affect your Carers Allowance or any other benefits you get. Young carers might be able to get the Young Carer Grant.

Find out about the Carer's Allowance Supplement at

Find out more about the Young Carer Grant at

MS benefits advice service

Our MS benefits advice service offers free, confidential advice. Get in touch by calling our MS Helpline on 0808 800 8000 or emailing [email protected]

Scottish organisations for carers

Care Information Scotland cover a wide range of useful information for carers, including support for carers and young carers.

Carers Scotland provide information and a helpline for carers on a wide range of issues. They also campaign for carers' rights.

Crossroads Caring Scotland provide support for carers and their families.

Carers Trust operate a network of local carers' centres.

Young Scot provides help and support to young carers and offers a Young Carers Package which includes things like free cinema tickets, discounted study guides and other support.

Coalition of Carers in Scotland is a network of local carer led groups, centres and projects.

Local carers' centres

There are local carers' centres or organisations in most parts of Scotland such as VOCAL (Voice of carers across the Lothians) and Connecting Carers in the Highlands. These groups offer information and advice and other services such as:

  • advocacy for carers
  • support groups
  • courses (for example, about looking after yourself)
  • counselling

Carers Trust has an online directory of local services for carers.

Care at home services

Crossroads Caring Scotland provides care at home services to let carers have a break. Referral is usually through your local council's health and social care department but you can also self refer.

Shared Care Scotland provide information about short breaks for carers, including an online short break information service.

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