If you give up work to care for someone, you might be worried that not paying National Insurance (NI) will lower your State Pension. But, if you’re eligible for Carer’s Credit, you can get credits to help fill gaps in your National Insurance record. This means you can take on caring responsibilities without affecting your ability to qualify for the State Pension.
If you get Carer’s Allowance then you will automatically get Carer’s Credit.
Am I Eligible?
To get Carer’s Credit 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 part
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Child Disability Payment (CDP) care component at the middle or highest rate
- Adult Disability Payment daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate
If the person you’re caring for does not 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.
What if I take a break from Caring?
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.
How do I apply?
Before you start:
You do not need to apply for Carer’s Credit 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
Apply using a form:
Download the Carer’s Credit claim form.
The form includes a Care Certificate – ask a health or social care professional to sign it for you.
You can also get the form by calling the Carer’s Allowance Unit.
Carer’s Allowance Unit
Telephone: 0800 731 0297
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
Call the Carer’s Allowance Unit to ask for alternative formats, such as braille, large print or audio CD.
Where do I send my form?
Carer’s Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
What if I disagree with a decision?
You can challenge a decision about your claim. This is called asking for mandatory reconsideration.
Please note: The person your care for benefits entitlement may be affected if you apply for Carer’s Allowance