Carer’s Credit

If you are of working age and are not making National Insurance contributions, your right to a full pension may be at risk.  Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record.  Carer’s Credit pays class 3 contributions that help protect state pension and bereavement benefits.

Am I eligible for Carer’s Credit?

You can apply for carer’s credit if you are caring for one or more people for a total of at least 20 hours a week and if your National Insurance contributions are not being made through paid work or as part of another benefit.

The person you care for should be getting one of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) middle or high-rate care
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) the daily living component at either rate
  • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

However, if the person you care for does not get one of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carer’s Credit. When you apply, fill in the care certificate part of the application form and ask a health or social care professional to sign it.

Do I need to claim Carer’s Credit if I am in receipt of Carers Allowance or another benefit?

If you are in receipt of a benefit due to ill health, being unemployed or caring, it is likely that you are automatically getting class 1 or class 3 national insurance credits. Check the government website to see what national insurance credits you are getting in your situation.

What happens if I take a break from caring?

You can still get Carer’s Credit for 12 weeks if you take a short holiday, if someone you look after goes into hospital, or you go into hospital. You need to keep the Carers Allowance Unit updated if you have a break from caring for 12 weeks or more.

Case examples

1. Two sisters give up work to share the care of their mum but only one of them can claim Carers Allowance. The other sister cannot claim any other out-of-work benefits but at least she can protect her state pension by claiming carer’s credit.

2. A man takes early retirement from his job to care for his father. His father refuses to apply for Attendance Allowance so the son cannot claim Carer’s Allowance.  He has not yet accrued enough working years to qualify for a full state pension so he claims carer’s credit all the while he is caring.

How do I claim?

To claim Carer’s Credit you can download the application form from the government website.

Or contact the Carers Allowance Unit by calling 0800 731 0297.

Your Carer’s Credit application must normally be received before the end of the tax year following the tax year to which the credits relate. This time limit can sometimes be extended if it is considered reasonable. 

Further help and advice

Local sources of help and advice

You can get a benefit check done through Citizens Advice to find out what you and the person you care for may be able to claim.

Or your local advice centre may be able to help. As well as offering benefits advice, some advice centres also help with other money matters, including debt and energy advice.


Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. 

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If you are unsure whether you are entitled to benefits or where to go for further advice, please get in touch with CarersLine. We will point you in the right direction.

CarersLine is open:

Monday to Friday: 10 am – 1 pm
Monday to Thursday: 2 pm – 4 pm
(Closed on Bank Holidays)

0117 965 2200

An answerphone operates outside of these hours and your call will be returned when the helpline next opens.

Alternatively, use our contact form to receive a personal reply the same or the next working day.

Last updated 16.10.23