Unpaid carer no NI paid for me

All about money
Hi everyone, a few weeks ago I heard there might be a problem for people reaching retirement age who have been unable to work and that National Insurance payments might not have been paid on their behalf. I wrote to HMRC to ask if my NI payments were up to date, the letter I got in reply almost gave me a bad turn, I still feel sick. Weve had a lot to deal with over the years and now I'm told I wont get State Pension ! or at least thats how it reads to me, but I admit its not easy to understand so perhaps you can help me out.
The way the letter reads I qualify for 24 years of NI contributions up till 1975,(this is when I got married and finished work to start a family), then it says I owe 30 years of NI contributions ! uummmm....thats 54 years in total which means I started work when I was 4 lol. It also says I owe £6500 if I want to bring my contributions up to date. None of this makes sense to me.
I didnt work from 1976 onwards but my husband worked up till 1996. He had an accident down the mines years earlier and one day his back just gave up and he was stuck in a wheelchair, then other problems started for him, his heart, nerve damage, psychological problems etc, so since 1996 I have cared for him, I have never received any separate benefit for myself, I always assumed the benefit he got was for both of us and that was it ! we were never told any different. A couple of years ago I heard about Carers Allowance and rang the DWP but they said we would be worse off as my Husbands money would be
reduced . Now I'm told all these years of NI contributions are missing and I wont qualify for state pension, honestly, I feel sick to mt stomach, again I feel like I'm being punished for doing the right thing. any advice ?
I hope this is in the right place, apologies if not and feel free to move it lol I'm new here.
No, I don't understand that letter either!

Am I correct in assuming that you're around 58 years old (ie. born c1957) and that you stopped work in 1976 (around aged 20) when you got married and started a family?

If so, then you should have paid at least a couple of years of NI contributions whilst employed. You would also have been credited with contributions (called, I think, at the time "Home Responsibilities Protection") whilst claiming Child Benefit until your youngest child reached the age of 16 (or possibly 18). This could account for the 24 years of contributions.

To qualify for a full pension, you will now need 35 years of contributions. I have just read an excellent article by the BBC's Moneybox presenter, Paul Lewis, in the current edition of "Saga" magazine about topping up your pension - you can read it here http://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/money/re ... ur-pension - and I hope it may clarify matters for you.

If not, then you probably need to get some further advice - perhaps from the CAB?

Pennie
Hi Pennie and thank you :D I've just read through the letter for the third time, tbh I think its deliberately complicated, 6 pages long to answer one simple question, no wonder I'm confused.
In one part its asking for payment of £6500, in another part is says women will get the new state pension if they were born after 6th April 1953 if they 10 qualifying years of NI payments, which I have, but I don't trust them, any of them, we have been through hell over the last few years with ESA and PIP, I don't trust anyone now.
I think your right about contacting CAB I'll get on it on Monday :)
Hi Isabell
I thought I had replied to your post earlier today but can't see it so must have forgotten to save it. The gist of it was that Carers Credit is awarded automatically if you are entitled to Carers Allowance but I believe you can apply separately for Carers Credit when you don't always meet the criteria for Carers Allowance. I need to write to DWP myself this week because I have some gaps in my entitlement to CA when my earnings have been over the limit.
What I really wanted to advise is that it is never to late and even if they won't backdate you still need to make sure that you don't loose out any more in the future. Contact DWP and ask them for claim forms for both Carers Credit ( which I should have done and didn't!) and also carers Allowance. Carers Allowance is not means tested so even if your husband had been working you may well still be entitled if you meet all the criteria. They won't backdate CA and it is usually awarded from date of claim so contact them sooner rather than later to avoid missing out on even more.
Hi Henrietta, and thank you, I have never claimed carers allowance, I simply didn't know it existed, no one ever told me, it was only a couple of years ago I heard about it, I rang the DWP to enquire if I qualified and they told me my Husband would lose benefits if I applied for CA so I didnt. Because of that I havnt been credited with NI for what looks like 24 years ! nothing was ever sent to tell me this or to tell me I could apply for credits.
I think the letter I got says I have enough credits to get my pension but I'm not sure, it doesnt really explain.
Thanks again :)
Hi Isabell ...

Having reread your initial post, I'm thinking that part of the confusion here is that you wrote to (and received your answer from) HMRC, rather than the DWP. I seem to recall that when I received my State Pension Statement it was two pages max. in length.

Can I suggest that you apply for a SPS - this is the link https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-statement - and see what they say?

Pennie
Thanks Pennie I'll do that, when I first inquired I was following advice I found on the net and it gave a link to HMRC and an inquiry form for NI contributions, that was months ago and I never got an answer, so I wrote direct to HMRC and got a reply about 6 weeks later. I'll try the DWP now, thanks Pennie :)