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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.

You will be credited with a Class 3 national insurance credit for every week you qualify.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: You must be 16 or over but under State Pension age  

Administered by: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

 

Who does it help?

You must spend at least 20 hours a week caring for someone (or multiple people) receiving a ‘qualifying benefit’ for example:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (the middle or highest rates of the care component)
  • Personal Independence Payment (daily living component)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

If the person you care for isn’t receiving a qualifying benefit, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will consider whether the level of care you provide is appropriate. They will consider the level of care as appropriate if there is a signed certificate confirming this 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.

If you receive Carer’s Allowance or Income Support as a carer (which does not always require you to receive Carer’s Allowance), you will already be credited with national insurance contributions so will not need to rely on these rules.

You also qualify if you are within the 12 weeks before you become entitled to Carer’s Allowance or the 12 weeks after Carer’s Allowance ends.

This system of ‘credits’ replaces the old system of Home Responsibilities Protection, which was in force before 6 April 2010. Some years of Home Responsibilities Protection collected before 6 April 2010 can be converted into credited contributions for those years.

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 using the Department for Work and Pensions' Carer's Credit application form (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.

Last reviewed: 11 April 2014

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