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Protect your State Pension with Carer’s Credit

If you are a carer, Carer’s Credit protects your State Pension by topping up your National Insurance contributions. Retirement may feel like a long way off, but claiming Carer’s Credit now can save future financial headache.

How Carer’s Credit works

To receive the new State Pension, you must make enough National Insurance contributions. You will need 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to receive the full State Pension of £164.35 a week. For a year to qualify, you need to earn at least £162 a week.

If you care for someone and earn under £162 a week, Carer’s Credit tops up your Class 3 National Insurance contributions, so your State Pension stays secure.

Can I get Carer’s Credit?

To receive Carer’s Credit, you must be aged between 16 and State Pension age, and care for a family member, friend or neighbour for at least 20 hours a week.

The person you care for should also receive one of the following disability benefits:

  • Middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance.
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).

What if the person I care for doesn’t receive disability benefits?

You may still be able to claim Carer’s Credit by filling in the Care Certificate and asking a health or social care professional to sign it. The Care Certificate comes with the Carer's Credit form. You can download both online

I receive Carer’s Allowance. Do I need to claim Carer’s Credit?

Carer’s Allowance automatically adds Class 1 National Insurance contributions for every week you claim. Class 1 contributions are slightly different to Class 3 (check the difference) but both types count towards your State Pension. If you receive Carer's Allowance, you do not need to claim Carer’s Credit.

However, if you lose Carer’s Allowance due to a break from caring, Carer’s Credit can continue for up to 12 weeks, protecting your National Insurance contributions.

How do I claim Carer’s Credit?

If you think you’re entitled to Carer’s Credit, download the form from the GOV.UK website. You can also call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297 and request a form.

Send your completed form to:
Carer's Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 2AB

I need more benefits help

If you are unsure what else you could be claiming, or have any benefits queries, contact the Croydon Welfare Rights Team (0800 731 5920) if you are based in Croydon.

You can also use the Turn2Us website and EntitledTo benefits calculator to work out your current entitlement.

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