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 helps prevent gaps in your National Insurance record if you have to stop working while you are caring for someone else. It can also help if you are not paying National Insurance because you have had to reduce your hours.
If you get Carer’s Credit you do not get any actual money, but it protects your right to a State Pension later in life.
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:
- the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment at either rate
- the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or higher rate
- Attendance Allowance.
If the person you look after does not get one of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carer’s Credit if you fill in the care certificate part of the application form. You will need to get a health or social care professional to sign it.
You do not need to apply for Carer’s Credit if you are already getting benefits such as:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support as a carer – or based on incapacity
- Child Benefit for a child under the age of 12.
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 someone else 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.
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/carers-credit 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.