Carers who don’t qualify for Carers Allowance may be able to get Carers Credit.
Carers Credit helps with gaps in your National Insurance record due to caring for someone. Your State Pension is based on your National Insurance record. It means that you can take on caring responsibilities without affecting your State Pension.
You can get Carers Credit if you are:
- Aged 16 or over and under the State Pension age;
- Looking after one or more people for at least 20 hours per week (see below for the rules in breaks in care).
The person you are looking after must normally be getting one of the following:
- The middle or the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA);
- The daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) (at either rate);
- Attendance Allowance (at either rate) or Constant Attendance Allowance;
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).
If the person you’re caring for doesn’t get one of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carers Credit. When you apply, fill in the ‘Care Certificate’ part of the application form and get a health or social care professional to sign it. You don’t need to apply for Carers Credit if you get Carers Allowance – you’ll automatically get credits.
Carers Credit can also help with breaks in your caring role. You can claim Carers Credit for any week within 12 weeks before the date you become entitled to Carers Allowance or following the week you stop being entitled to Carers Allowance. This is without meeting the 20 hour condition. This means you could have a break in caring for up to 12 weeks without losing your National Insurance contributions.
To apply for Carers Credit you can either apply online on www.gov.uk or by phone on 0800 731 0297.