State pension payment boost available for unpaid carers – how to claim

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To get the full new state pension, a claimant must have 35 years of National Insurance contributions under their belt, while it may be 30 years for the full basic state pension. Unpaid carers are one of the groups who may have a gap in their record due to being out of the workforce for periods of time. One of the ways carers can boost their state pension is by claiming Carer’s Credit which fills in gaps in their National Insurance record.

Who is eligible for Carer’s Credit?

Carer’s Credit gives people the chance to continue with their caring responsibilities without impacting someone’s ability to qualify for the full state pension.

It should be noted that someone’s income, savings or investments will not impact their eligibility for these National Insurance credits.

To get this state pension payment boost, claimants of the benefit must be over 16 or over but under the state pension age, which is currently 66.

Applicants can still claim Carer’s Credit if they decide to have a break from looking after a person, but only up to 12 weeks in a row.

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On top of this, claimants can still get the benefit for 12 weeks even if they go on a short holiday or have to go to hospital.

In order to claim the boost made available by Carer’s Credit, the individual being looked after by the claimant must be in receipt of a qualifying DWP payment.

Among these qualifying benefits include:

  • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • The daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

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Olivia Kennedy, a financial planner at Quilter, shared why those eligible should apply for the state pension boost as soon as possible.

Ms Kennedy explained: “Despite the pandemic increasing the amount of people requiring care, the number of people applying for the credit continues to lag pre-pandemic levels.

“Unfortunately, many people fail to see themselves as carers and fail to apply for Carer’s Credit.

“Failing to do so can have a disastrous impact on someone’s financial wellbeing as many people begin being a carer later on in life and might need the credits to get the full state pension.”

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In light of the cost of living crisis, the Government is being urged to provide additional support through the credit to unpaid carers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said: “Thousands of unpaid carers who do so much to support people in our communities are now facing an unprecedented emergency and urgently need the Chancellor’s help.

“Some carers have no way of meeting the rising costs and face extremely difficult decisions that are keeping them up at night.

“We are urging the Chancellor to provide unpaid carers with targeted support, giving those with an entitlement to Carer’s Allowance or the Carer Element of Universal Credit a top up payment to help them meet the significant additional costs they’ll face throughout the winter.”

Previously speaking to Express.co.uk, a Government spokesperson said: “We recognise and value the vital contribution made by carers every day to support family and friends, including pensioners and those with disabilities.

“Nearly 60 percent of working age people on Carer’s Allowance will get a Cost of Living Payment – £650 for people on means-tested benefits and other targeted payments for families caring for a pensioner or a disabled person. 

“On top of this all households will receive £400 through the Energy Bill Support Scheme and we have extended the Household Support Fund by £500million.

 “Families caring for a pensioner or a disabled person will benefit from other targeted cost of living payments such as Carer’s Allowance. Families can also receive an additional £2,000 a year through the carer’s element in Universal Credit and may be entitled to further support through the benefits system.”



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