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Carer's Credits

Find out more about Carer's Credits.

1. What are Carer's Credits?

Carer's Credits mean carers can be ‘credited’ with Class 3 national insurance contributions to help them qualify for other benefits 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.

Applies to: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Age rules: You must be 16 or over but under state pension age

Apply for Carer's Credit through: Department for Work and Pensions

 

Reviewed: July 2017

2. Can I get Carer's Credits?

The main benefit for carers is Carer's Allowance and for every week you are entitled to Carer's Allowance you will get Class 1 national insurance credits.  If you are entitled to Income Support as a carer then you should automatically be given Class 3 national insurance credits.

If you do not qualify for Carer's Allowance (and don't have an underlying entitlement to it because of the overlapping benefit rules) or income support as a carer then you may be able to claim Carer's Credit.

To qualify for the credit, you must spend at least 20 hours a week caring for one or more people who are receiving a ‘qualifying benefit’, for example:

• 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 for you to still get Carer's Credit. 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 Carer's Credits 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 you will already be credited with  national insurance contributions so will not need to rely on these rules. You also qualify during 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 it was abolished can be converted into credited contributions for those years.

 

Reviewed; July 2017

3. How much Carer's Credits will I get?

You do not receive a payment; instead you will be credited with a Class 3 national insurance credit for every week you qualify. These help you meet the contribution conditions for:

If you are receiving Carer’s Allowance (or would receive it if it weren’t for an overlapping benefit) you will be credited with Class 1 national insurance credits which will also count towards contributory Employment and Support Allowance and contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

 

Reviewed July 2017

4. How do I claim Carer's Credits?

If you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance or Income Support as a carer, you should receive national insurance credits automatically.

However, if you need to claim Carer's Credits because you are caring for a disabled person and you don't receive Income Support or Carer’s Allowance, and you don't receive credits through any other benefit (for example child benefit), you will need to apply using the Department for Work and Pensions’ Carer's Credit application form (link opens in a new window)

The earliest you can ask for your Carer's Credit to start from is the start of the last full tax year.  For example, if you complete the form in June 2018, the earliest you can ask for your credits to start would be 6 April 2017.

What documents will I need to claim Carer’s Credits?

If the person you are looking after is not entitled to a qualifying benefit then you will need to ask a health or social care professional to who knows the person you are caring for to complete a care certificate.  You should send the care certificate with the application form.

When will my Carer’s Credit claim begin?

The earliest your Carer’s Credit claim can begin is the start of the last full tax year. A tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the following year. The last full tax year was 2017/18 and ended on 5 April 2018.

Change of circumstances

You must report changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to this credit.

 

Updated: April 2018

5. How do I challenge a Carer's Credit decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your Carer’s Credit claim, for example due to incorrect information being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again, if you still disagree you can appeal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

Further information on Challenging Department for Work and Pension Decisions

 

Reviewed: July 2017