Credits for carers are available to satisfy the conditions for long-term benefits, for example, State Pension. This helps you if you are not working because you are caring for someone.
Credits for carers replaces home responsibilities protection. If you reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2010, any home responsibilities protection you have already received will be changed into credits for carers.
Carers get credits automatically if you they are receiving Carer’s Allowance.
However, if you care for one or more people for 20 hours or more a week but are not getting Carer’s Allowance, you will need to make a claim for the credits.
Are you caring for more than 20 hour a week?
Get Carer’s Credit. This will help build up your National Insurance contributions. This means:
• there won’t be any gaps in your National Insurance record if you have to take on caring responsibilities
• you’ll be able to build up your entitlement to the State Pension
To get it you must be:
• aged 16 or over
• under State Pension age
• looking after one or more people for at least 20 hours a week
The person you’re looking after must get one of the following:
• Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate
• Attendance Allowance
• Constant Attendance Allowance
• Personal Independence Payment – daily living component, at the standard or enhanced rate
• Armed Forces Independence Payment
If the person you’re caring for doesn’t get one of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carer’s Credit. When you apply, fill in the ‘Care Certificate’ part of the application form and get a health or social care professional to sign it.
Carers who don’t qualify for Carer’s Allowance may qualify for Carer’s Credit.
Breaks in caring and eligibility
You can still get Carer’s Credit even if you have breaks from caring (up to 12 weeks in a row).
For example, you’ll still get Carer’s Credit for 12 weeks if:
• you take a short holiday
• someone you look after goes into hospital
• you go into hospital
Keep the Carer’s Allowance Unit updated if you have a break in caring of more than 12 weeks in a row.
Before you start
You don’t need to apply if you:
• get Carer’s Allowance – you’ll automatically get credits
• get Child Benefit for a child under the age of 12 – you’ll automatically get credits
• are a foster carer – you can apply for National Insurance credits instead
Carer’s Credit form
Download the Carer’s Credit claim form.
You can also get the form by contacting the Carer’s Allowance Unit (below).
The form includes a Care Certificate – ask a health or social care professional to sign it for you.
Where to send your form
Carer’s Allowance Unit
Telephone: 0345 608 4321
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm
Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Find out about call charges