Our experts at DSR Tax Refunds know how hard it is to find good, quality information about HMRC’s National Insurance rules and regulations that is easy to understand, and that’s why we have created these handy guides to tell you everything you need to know. Our aim is to make life easier for our clients and that is why we want to share our expertise with you. You can also call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.
What is Carer’s Credit?
Carer’s Credit is what is called a National Insurance credit. This means that the credit helps to fill in any gaps you might have in your National Insurance record to help ensure that you will still be eligible for a State Pension. Because your State Pension is based on the amount of National Insurance you have paid over your working life, if you have any gaps in that because you have been acting as a carer for someone, you might find that you aren’t entitled to your full pension. National Insurance credits are a way to help solve these issues. You could be eligible to claim Carer’s Credit if you are caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week. It doesn’t matter if you have income, savings or investments – these won’t affect whether you are eligible to claim this credit.
If you are eligible for this credit, you will get credits to cover the gaps in your National Insurance record if there have been times when you haven’t been able to work because of your caring commitments. These credits mean that you can still continue with your caring responsibilities without having to worry that you won’t qualify for your State Pension when you reach retirement age.
Who is eligible for Carer’s Credit?
There are a number of eligibility rules you need to meet before you are able to claim this National Insurance credit. You need to be aged 16 or over but under the State Pension age (this depends on your gender and date of birth – there isn’t a set State Pension age anymore so make sure you check when you will be entitled to claim your State Pension). You also need to be looking after one or more people for at least 20 hours a week.
The person (or people) you are caring for must be receiving one of the following benefits:
Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate;
Constant Attendance Allowance;
Armed Forces Independence Payment;
Personal Independence Payment – the daily living component at either the standard or enhanced rate.
You might still be able to get Carer’s Credit if the person you are caring for isn’t receiving one of the above benefits. You will need to fill in the ‘Care Certificate’ section of the application form and get a health or social care worker to sign the form for you. If you aren’t eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you might still be eligible to claim this National Insurance credit to make things a little easier for you.
What happens if you take a break from caring?
Depending on the circumstances, you might still be able to claim Carer’s Credit, even if you take a break from your caring responsibilities. The break from caring can be for up to 12 weeks in a row. For example, if you took a short holiday, went into hospital or the person you care for went into hospital, you would still be able to get Carer’s Credit for up to 12 weeks.
If the break was for longer than 12 weeks in a row, you would need to inform the Carer’s Allowance Unit so that they could work out what credit you were entitled to. You can contact them as follows:
They are available between 8.30am and 5pm Mondays to Thursdays and 8.30am to 4pm on Fridays.
How do you claim Carer’s Credit?
If any of the following apply, you don’t need to claim because you will receive National Insurance Credits automatically:
If you get Carer’s Allowance, you will automatically get Carer’s Credits.
If you receive Child Benefit for a child under 12, you will automatically get National Insurance credits.
If you are a foster carer, you can apply for National Insurance credits (not Carer’s Credits).
If you want to claim Carer’s Credit, you need to apply by filling in a form. You can download this from the GOV UK website or you can call the Carer’s Allowance Unit (on the numbers above) and they will send you a form in the post.
The form also includes a Care Certificate – you will need to get this signed by a health care professional or social care professional involved in the care of the person you are caring for.
Completed forms need to be sent to:
Carer’s Allowance Unit, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 2AB.
Your claim for Carer’s Credit (or Carer’s Allowance) will then be assessed, and they will let you know whether your claim has been successful or not.
How can DSR Tax Refunds help?
We know that caring for someone can be an exhausting and difficult affair, even with our helpful guide to tell you how to claim your full National Insurance credits. Our team of experts at DSR Tax Refunds are always on hand to help our clients and our excellent standing with HMRC means that we can also help you with your taxes, making sure that you get your maximum tax relief too. We can even take care of all that paperwork and deal with HMRC on your behalf too. Call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.
This page was last updated on 25/10/2018.