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Carer's Credit

Carer's Credit is a useful benefit that could help you secure your pension. It is especially worth looking into if you can't claim Carer's Allowance.

What is Carer’s Credit?

If you claim Carer's Credit, rather than receiving a monetary payment, you get a National Insurance contribution credit to help protect your record.

The benefit helps to protect your pension rights if you are caring for someone but not paying NI contributions through paid work and if you are unable to claim Carer's Allowance.

If you already get Carer's Allowance, you do not need to claim Carer's Credit as your pension is already protected. For each week that you receive Carer’s Allowance you get a Class 1 NI credit to help protect your record. Over time, this will help to build up your pension.


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Could I claim Carer's Credit?

You could benefit from Carer's Credit if you are in one of these situations:

  • you care for one or more people for 20 hours or more a week but miss out on Carer's Allowance because you don't care for any one of them for 35 hours or more a week*
  • where there is more than one of you caring for someone, and someone else is getting the Carer's Allowance for that person
  • you care for someone who can't or refuses to claim disability benefits, or if the disability benefits of the person you are caring for have stopped due to them being in hospital or residential care
  • you are within 12 weeks of claiming Carer's Allowance and/or within 12 weeks of your claim for Carer's Allowance stopping.

The person you are looking after must normally be getting one of the following:

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.

*As mentioned, to claim Carer’s Credit you need to be looking after someone for a total of 20 hours or more a week, but see below for the rules on breaks in care.


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How do I claim Carer's Credit?

In England, Wales and Scotland you can download a claim form online or you can contact the Carer's Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297 (textphone: 0800 731 0317 ) and ask them to send you a claim form .

In Northern Ireland you can download a claim form online or you can contact the Disability and Carers Service on 0800 587 0912 (textphone: 028 9031 1092) and ask them to send you a claim form.

Your Carer's Credit application must normally be received before the end of the tax year following the tax year to which the credits relate, although this time limit can sometimes be extended if it is considered reasonable.


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Can I get Carer’s Credit if I’m having a break in caring?

Carer’s Credit can also help with breaks in your caring role. You can claim Carer’s Credit for any week within 12 weeks before the date you become entitled to Carer’s Allowance or following the week you stop being entitled to Carer’s Allowance. This is without meeting the 20 hour condition. This means you could have a break in caring for up to 12 weeks without losing your NI contribution credit.

Example

Sue cares for her brother Alfred. Alfred receives Attendance Allowance and Sue claims Carer’s Allowance for looking after him. Alfred goes into hospital and his Attendance Allowance stops after 28 days. This means that Sue’s Carer’s Allowance will also stop after 28 days. Sue can claim Carer’s Credit for up to 12 weeks after her Carer’s Allowance stops.


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