Are you caring for someone for at least twenty (20) hours a week? If so, you may qualify for the Carer’s Credit benefit.
The main purpose of Carer’s Credit is to help care workers fill gaps in their National Insurance record.
Thus, this type of National Insurance credit can help you qualify for other benefit entitlements as well as the State Pension in the United Kingdom.
Note: Personal income, savings, and investments do not affect the eligibility criteria for getting Carer’s Credit.
Do You Get Money for Carers Credit?
The short answer is no – you would not receive an actual payment. Instead, you would get a Class 3 National Insurance credit for each week that you qualify.
As a result, meeting the eligibility criteria for the Carer’s Credit benefit means the credits you receive can fill some of the gaps in your National Insurance record.
This is an important benefit for carers because it means they can take on extra caring responsibilities without losing the ability to qualify for the State Pension.
Carer’s Credit Eligibility Criteria
To qualify, you must be at least sixteen (16) years old, and:
- Under State Pension age (you can check your State Pension age on the GOV.UK website)
- Taking care of one or more people for a period of at least twenty hours per week.
Furthermore, the person that you are looking after must be receiving at least one of the following benefits or allowances:
What if the person isn’t getting one of these qualifying benefits? If not, you may still meet the eligibility criteria.
You would need to complete the section marked ‘Care Certificate’ on the application form and then get it signed by a health or social care professional.
Note: Failing to qualify for the Carer’s Allowance may not exclude you from claiming the Carer’s Credit benefit.
What if You Take a Break in Caring?
Having breaks from your caring responsibilities (for periods of up to twelve weeks in a row) does not mean you will lose your entitlement to the credits.
Typical examples include:
- Taking a short holiday.
- Periods where the person you are caring for goes into hospital.
- Going into hospital yourself.
But, you would need to notify the Carer’s Allowance Unit if you will take a break in caring for a period more than twelve (12) consecutive weeks (in a row).
Carer’s Allowance Unit
Telephone: 0800 731 0297
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
Relay UK (for people who cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0297
Monday to Friday: 9:30am to 3:30pm
Get more information about call charges
How to Claim Carer’s Credit
There is no need to apply for Carer’s Credit (e.g. it will happen by automatic process) if you are (any):
Apply Using the Carer’s Credit Claim Form
You can download the application form from the GOV.UK website. Remember to fill in the Care Certificate part if you need to get the signature of a health or social care professional.
You can also get the form in alternative formats (e.g. audio CD, braille, or large print) by contacting the Carer’s Allowance Unit (see above).
Fill in the form and send it to:
Carer’s Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
Disagreeing with the Decision
The process of challenging a benefit decision is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’. This is how you get the benefits office to reconsider a disputed claim.