What is it?
Carer’s Credit is available to people who provide care for one or more disabled person(s) for a total of 20 hours or more each week, where they do not currently receive Carer’s Allowance. You will already automatically be getting Carer’s Credits if you get Carer’s Allowance, or get Child Benefit for a child under the age of 12 The credit will help to protect an individual’s National Insurance record to ensure there are no gaps from having to undertake caring responsibilities. There are two qualifying routes to be able to get Carer’s Credit, either through the disabled person being entitled to a qualifying benefit (the majority of applications) or through a certification route (Care Certificate).
Carer’s credit increases entitlement to Retirement Pension and State Second Pension. It also counts towards entitlement to bereavement benefits.
Carer’s credit replaces Home Responsibilities Protection from April 2010. National Insurance credits will also be awarded for periods before 2010 for which you have previously been awarded Home Responsibilities Protection.
Can I get it?
You receive the carer’s credit automatically if you are parent with a child aged 11 or under for whom you claim Child Benefit.
If you are caring for a disabled person you need to claim carer’s credit. To qualify you must be caring for 20 hours or more a week for one or more people who are in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit. These are:
Disability Living Allowance (middle or higher rate care component),
Constant Attendance Allowance
Where there is no qualifying benefit it will be possible to claim on the basis of a signed certificate from a health or social care professional to confirm that the level of care being provided is appropriate.
If no qualifying benefit is in payment it is still possible to claim a carer’s credit if you can get a signed certificate from a health or social care professional to confirm that the level of care being provided is appropriate.
People who get Income Support as a carer but who do not get Carers Allowance also qualify. Approved foster carers also qualify.
How do I claim?
You will automatically get carer’s credit if you are:
a parent with a child aged 11 or under for whom you claim Child Benefit. If your partner is the Child Benefit claimant but already has sufficient national insurance contributions/credits for the tax year you may be able to get a carer’s credit instead of them. However as the partner of a child benefit claimant you need to apply for a credit – it will not be awarded automatically.
Claiming Income Support as a carer.
However if you are caring for 20 hours or more a week but not getting Carer’s Allowance, and are not in one of the above two groups, you must apply for a carer’s credit. Contact details are on the DWP Carers Credit page.