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Carer's Credits

Key information

Carer's Credits mean carers can be ‘credited’ with national insurance contributions to qualify for other benefits, such as State Retirement Pension.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: There are no age rules  

Administered by: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).


Who does it help?

Since 6 April 2010, certain carers can be ‘credited’ with national insurance contributions.

This can help them to qualify for:

which they may not otherwise have been eligible for if their caring responsibilities prevented them from being able to work and pay national insurance contributions in the normal way.

This system of ‘credits’ replaces the former system of Home Responsibilities Protection, which was in force prior to 6 April 2010. However, some years of Home Responsibilities Protection accrued prior to 6 April 2010 can be converted into credited contributions for those years.

Carers who receive Carer’s Allowance will already be credited with national insurance contributions by virtue of receiving that benefit, so would not need to rely on the following rules. 

You will be credited with a Class 3 national insurance credit for any week in which:

  • you spend at least 20 hours a week caring for someone who either receives a ‘qualifying benefit’ or for whom the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) consider that the level of care you provide is appropriate. A ‘qualifying benefit’ is Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (the middle or highest rates of the care component).
  • The DWP will consider the level of care as appropriate if there is a signed certificate confirming that from a health or social care professional. You continue to receive the Credit for 12 weeks after caring ends or for breaks in caring of up to 12 weeks
  • you are entitled to Income Support as a carer (which does not always require you to receive Carer’s Allowance)
  • you are within the 12 weeks before you become entitled to Carer’s Allowance or the 12 weeks after Carer’s Allowance ends. 

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How do I make a claim?

Normally you do not need to claim Carer's Credits – they will be awarded to you automatically by virtue of your other benefit claims, e.g. Income Support or Carer’s Allowance.

However, if you are claiming because you are caring for a disabled person and you don't receive credits by virtue of another benefit, you need to apply to the Department for Work and Pensions (link opens in a new window).

Your application must be received before the end of the tax year following the tax year to which the credits relate.

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Last reviewed: 1 April 2013

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