Guide to Applying for a Short Break

Short Breaks, Time to Live is funded by the Scottish Government through Shared Care Scotland to improve the range, choice and availability of short breaks for carers. Carers of West Lothian’s Time Out Project enables carers to access funds and support to help them take short breaks that meet their needs.

Is the fund for me - Who can apply?

Due to limited funds Carers of West Lothian is unable to offer grants for every application. For the panel to consider your application you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a carer – providing unpaid care to a family member, partner, relative or friend and live in West Lothian
  • You must be caring for an adult (21+) or be a young carer
  • Your health and well being or that of the person you care for is under severe strain and is likely to be improved by a short break
  • You are finding it difficult to cope and may be unable to continue your caring role without a break
  • You have a substantial caring role that makes it difficult for you to have a life of your own or enjoy a good quality of life

Please note, priority will be given to those who have not applied to this or any other fund previously and to those carers deemed to be in most need by the panel. Those who have received the fund previously but did not hand in receipts will not be considered.

What can and can't be funded?

What can be funded?

You can apply for up to £250. This can be used to pay for anything that enables you to have a break from your caring role.  Examples of what may be supported are:

  • A break away from your home (in the UK only) either alone or with the person you care for
  • Travel, accommodation and/or extra support to go to a specific family event
  • The purchase of sitter services to give you time to yourself
  • Part payment towards a holiday (in the UK only) or respite that otherwise would not be able to happen
  • Leisure opportunities that relieve stress and improve well being
  • To pursue a hobby or take classes

What can’t be funded?

  • Services that should be provided by statutory services
  • Funding for breaks that have already been booked or taken
  • Breaks abroad
Prior to completing the form

Prior to completing the form ALL carers who are considering applying, will meet with a Carers of West Lothian staff member to explore their current and ongoing support needs.

This will ensure an application to Time Out is the best option for you at this time and that you receive the on-going support you need to continue in your caring role.

Completing the form

Information about you – the carer or young carer:

Please ensure that you provide accurate contact details and remember to notify us if there are any changes to your details. For young carer applications, please give telephone number of the parent/guardian and their name as well as the name of the young carer.

About the person you care for:

Information about the person you care for and their health. Age of the person you are caring for: adult carers can only apply if they are caring for someone age 21+, young carers can be caring for someone of any age.

Information about your caring situation and how you feel about your caring situation:

This section tells us a bit more about your caring situation. It is important that we know about how your caring role is impacting on you. These impacts may be because of changes to your caring situation or because of caring without adequate support in place or any other factor that might increase the likelihood of the caring situation breaking down.  These might be changes in your health or the person you care for, changes in personal circumstances, sudden events, a change in working role, a recent hospital admission etc

We also ask about the health and wellbeing of the person you are caring for.

If you are successful we will ask for this information again, after your short break/ activity, as part of an evaluation.

About your break:

Please provide as much detail about your planned break as you can. Remember to include:

  • What type of break you are planning
  • When you are planning to take your break, it is important that we know when you are going to take your break. If there are any changes to your plans, please contact us to let us know
  • How many people will benefit from the break and how many of them are carers/ young carers e.g. 2 adults caring for an elderly parent would be 2 carers or 2 young carers caring for a sibling would be 2 young carers
  • If the person being cared for is going on the break with you

The cost of the break:

  • How much will the break cost – include a breakdown of expected costs. The fund is not means tested and so we do not ask you for personal financial information. If, however you feel that the panel would benefit from some additional information about how your caring role has impacted on your financial situation or the welfare benefits you receive feel free to provide additional information in the space provided at the end of the application form
  • How much are you applying to the fund for. The maximum you can apply for is £250.

There is additional space at the end of the application form for you to add any other information about your caring situation that you feel may help the panel decide.

Supporting statement:

In order that we ensure all applications are appropriate we ask you to provide a supporting statement from a professional person who knows your caring situation well. This could be a GP, nurse, occupational therapist, social worker or a support worker with a voluntary organisation including Carers of West Lothian. They must NOT be a family member or close friend.

It may be difficult for you to get the form completed by the professional. If this is the case, you can complete their details (with their permission) and ask them to email a supporting statement to

Your application will not be considered without the supporting statement from a professional person.

Terms and Conditions
  • You can apply for up to a maximum of £250 (per individual carer or to multiple carers sharing a caring role) in any 12 month period
  • The short break must take place in the UK – Breaks abroad will not be funded
  • Funding for retrospective breaks will not be considered
  • Carers must provide receipts at the latest 28 days after the purchase and funds not spent by 30th September 2020 must be returned to Carers of West Lothian
  • Awards will be paid by cheque or straight into the carers bank account
  • Carers agree to complete an evaluation after they have had their break
  • If for any reason you are unable to take the break any funds allocated should be returned as soon as possible
  • If the application is for a young carer then a parent or guardian must also sign agreeing to the terms and conditions
Methods of Payment

Please indicate how you would like to receive your grant if successful by completing the Payment Details form. We can only pay the grant into the carer’s bank account or a joint bank account. Cheques must be payable to the carer. For young carers the payment will only be made to the person who has signed the application.

Application process
  • All applications must be submitted using the appropriate form below either online, via email or by post
  • Applications will be assessed by a panel made up of a Carers of West Lothian staff member, a Carers of West Lothian board member, and 2 carers
  • All information provided on the application form must be true and accurate at the time of signing
  • The panel reserves the right to ask for additional information
  • The panel will meet approximately 10 days after the closing dates for applications, but are subject to change or cancellation and are dependent on funds available
  • The panel’s decision is final
Application and decision schedule

Closing Date for Application – 8th November 2019
Notification by email by – 25th Novemebr 2019
Payment made by – 29th November 2019

Closing Date for Application – 10th January 2020
Notification by email by – 27th January 2020
Payment made by – 31st January 2020

Closing Date for Application – 7th February 2020
Notification by email by – 24th February 2020
Payment made by – 28th February 2020

Closing Date for Application – 6th March 2020
Notification by email by – 23rd March 2020
Payment made by – 27th March 2020

Closing Date for Application – 9th April 2020
Notification by email by – 27th April 2020
Payment made by – 1st May 2020

Closing Date for Application – 8th May 2020
Notification by email by – 25th May 2020
Payment made by – 29th May 2020

Closing Date for Application – 5th June 2020
Notification by email by – 22nd June 2020
Payment made by – 26 th June 2020

Outcome of the panel

To keep costs to a minimum, we will correspond with you by email as much as possible. Please do not contact Carers of West Lothian staff members for the outcome of a panel, you will be notified directly by email. If you have not heard the outcome 1 week after the panel met, then please email

Click below to apply for a Short Break

Click on the image to open up a screen PDF. You can complete the form online or print it and complete by hand.

Please note that some users may be unable to fill in the PDF on screen, due to the settings on their computer or laptop. If you have any problems completing the form please give us a call on 01506 448000 and we will be happy to help. 


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