Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy.

If you're under state pension age and spend at least 20 hours a week caring for someone else, you might be able to get carer’s credit applied to your National Insurance record. 

What is carer's credit?

If you're unable to work because of caring responsibilities, and therefore can't make National Insurance payments, carer’s credit helps build your entitlement to the basic state pension by making sure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record.

Who can get carer's credit?

Carer’s credit is not means tested, so income and savings are not taken into account. To qualify for carer’s credit you must be:

  • aged 16 or over
  • under state pension age
  • looking after one or more people for at least 20 hours a week.

The person you’re looking after must get one of the following:

What do I need to know about carer's credit?

You can still get carer’s credit if you have breaks from caring (up to 12 weeks in a row); for example, if you take a short holiday or someone you look after goes into hospital.

How to claim carer's credit

If you already get carer’s allowance, there’s no need to make a separate application for carer’s credit – if you’re entitled to credits you should get them automatically. If not, you can apply by phone or online.
By phone: contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0845 608 4321. Lines are open Monday to Thursday 8.30am-5pm and Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.
Online: download the form from the GOV.UK website.

Page last reviewed: April 2017
Next review due: April 2018