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Carer's Credits: bringing up a child

Key information

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

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Administered by: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).



You can read through this information sheet, or go directly to the sections you want to read by clicking on these links:

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 credits for those years.

You will be credited with a Class 3 national insurance credit (link opens in a new window) for any week in which:

  • you get Child Benefit for a child under the age of 12
  • you reside with someone (for example, your partner) who gets Child Benefit for a child under 12 and you share responsibility for the child. However, the person receiving Child Benefit must not need the national insurance credit themselves (for example, because they are working and earning enough to pay national insurance contributions)
  • You are an approved foster carer

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How do I make a claim?

Carer's Credits will be awarded to you automatically if you are receiving Child Benefit.

However, if you are claiming Carer's Credits because the person you live with gets Child Benefit and you share responsibility for the child, or because you are a foster parent, you will need to fill in form CF411A - Application form for credits for parents and carers available on the Gov.UK website (link opens in a new window) 

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Last updated: 17 April 2015

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