New promotional materials to give young adult carers fair access to financial support in learning

12 September 2017

In England and Wales there are over 300,000 young adult carers, who provide over £5 billion of unpaid care each year. Despite the vital contribution they make to their families and society, young adult carers are twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) and on average achieve 9 lower GCSE grades than their peers.

In order to ensure that young people get the financial support they are entitled to, Learning and Work Institute have developed a set of posters and leaflets to clarify the rules around studying and claiming Carer’s Allowance for young adult carers.

Learning and Work Institute has called for young adult carers to be exempt from the 21-hour rule in the benefit system, so that they can claim Carer’s Allowance and study full-time. However, our recent work has highlighted that many full-time courses no longer involve 21 hours of supervised study a week, so many more young adult carers may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance than previously thought.

These new promotional materials can be used by learning providers and carers services to raise awareness of the rules around claiming Carer’s Allowance amongst young adult carers. They were developed in collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions and a working group of young adult carers, carers services and colleges.

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said:

“Many young adult carers live in families who struggle financially, so being able to claim Carer’s Allowance could make a huge difference to a young person in full-time education. Yet the confusion around the 21-hour rule and Carer’s Allowance means that some young people who could be eligible to claim this benefit are unaware of their entitlement – as a consequence many are being forced to drop out of learning between the ages of 16-24, as they and their families simply can’t afford to give up £62.70 per week.

These new posters and leaflets should help to clarify the rules around studying and claiming Carer’s Allowance, and ensure that young adult carers access the financial support they are entitled to while they are in full-time education.”

The posters and leaflets can be downloaded from our website here.