Carer's Credit

Carer’s Credit may help you to build up your entitlement to State Pension if you are caring for someone with cancer.

What is Carer's Credit?

Carer’s Credit helps prevent gaps in your National Insurance record if you have to stop working while you are caring for someone else.

You need to pay National Insurance to qualify for a State Pension. If you are not working, you might not be paying National Insurance.

Carer's Credit can also help if you are not paying National Insurance because you have had to reduce your hours.

How much is Carer's Credit?

If you get Carer’s Credit, you do not get extra money. But it protects your right to a State Pension later in life.

Can I claim Carer's Credit?

To get Carer’s Credit, you must look after at least one person for 20 hours or more a week.

Normally, each person you look after must be getting one of these disability benefits:

If the person you look after does not get any of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carer’s Credit. You must fill in the care certificate part of the application form. It is important to get a health or social care professional to sign it.

Do I need Carer's Credit?

You do not need to apply for Carer’s Credit if you are already getting benefits such as:

These benefits will automatically help protect your right to a State Pension.

You may benefit from claiming Carer’s Credit if you:

  • look after someone for 20 to 35 hours a week
  • help look after an ill or disabled person, but the main carer claims Carer’s Allowance for looking after them
  • look after several people, but do not care for any one person for 35 hours or more a week
  • look after someone as well as doing paid work, but do not earn enough to pay National Insurance for the whole year
  • look after someone and are self-employed
  • look after someone and are a full-time student.

How do I claim Carer's Credit?

If you live in England, Scotland, or Wales, call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297, or use textphone 0800 731 0317. You can also apply online at GOV.UK or by post.

If you live in Northern Ireland, call the Disability and Carers Service on 0800 587 0912, or use textphone 0800 012 1574. Or contact your local Social Security or Jobs and Benefits Office. You can also download a claim form from nidirect.gov.uk.

About our information


  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by Macmillan professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Sean Conroy, Macmillan Welfare Rights and Energy Advice Team Service Manager.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.