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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-insurance-credits-for-adults-who-care-for-a-child-under-12-fact-sheet/specified-adult-childcare-credits-fact-sheet
These National Insurance (NI) credits were introduced from April 2011. You may be entitled to receive these NI credits if you are a grandparent, or other family member, who cares for a child under 12, usually whilst their parent (or main carer) is working. These credits are only available from April 2011 and you must make an application to receive the NI credits.
Since March 2020, your normal caring arrangements may have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have provided care in a different way, for example over the telephone or video, you can still apply for NI credits for the financial years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021.
Specified Adult Childcare credits work by transferring the NI credit attached to Child Benefit from the Child Benefit recipient to a family member who is providing care for a related child under 12. Therefore, if no one has claimed Child Benefit for the child there is no attached NI credit to transfer and Specified Adult Care credits cannot be awarded.
As Specified Adult Childcare credits work by transferring the NI credit attached to Child Benefit from the Child Benefit recipient to a specified adult, there is not a credit available for each child under 12 cared for, there is a credit for each Child Benefit recipient. For example, if 2 grandparents are caring for their daughter’s 2 children, there is only one credit available for transfer and the Child Benefit recipient must decide who should have the credit. However, if the grandparents are caring for their daughter’s child and their son’s child, there are likely to be 2 Child Benefit recipients and therefore 2 credits available for transfer.
2. What you’ll get
Specified Adult Childcare credits will help build up your National Insurance contributions. This means:
- you will receive a Class 3 NI credit for each week or part week you cared for the child (Class 3 NI credits help to build entitlement to the State Pension and, until April 2017, certain bereavement benefits)
- it can help to stop gaps in your National Insurance record
You should not apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits if you:
- already have a qualifying year of National Insurance – usually because you work or receive other NI credits (you can check your National Insurance record online to see if you have any gaps in contributions)
- are receiving Child Benefit for the child – you already get Parent’s credits automatically
- are the partner of, and live with, the Child Benefit recipient and you want to transfer the Parent’s credits from your spouse or partner to yourself – you apply to do this on form CF411A
You can apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits if:
- you are a grandparent, or other family member caring for a child under 12
- you were over 16, and under state pension age when you cared for the child
- you are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, meaning England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
- the child’s parent (or main carer) is entitled to Child Benefit and has a qualifying year for National Insurance without needing the parent’s class 3 NI credits which they receive automatically from Child Benefit (they can check their National Insurance record online to see if they have any gaps in contributions)
- the child’s parent (or main carer) agrees to your application by countersigning the form to confirm that:
- you cared for their child for the period stated
- you can have the Class 3 NI credit for the period stated
What counts as a family member for the purposes of Specified Adult Childcare credits
If you look after a relative under age 12:
1) mother or father who does not live with the child (‘non-resident parent’)
2) grandparent, great-grandparent or great-great-grandparent
3) brother or sister
4) aunt or uncle
5) husband or wife or former husband or wife of anyone in 1 to 4
6) civil partner or former civil partner of anyone in 1 to 4
7) partner or former partner of anyone in 1 to 6
8) son or daughter of anyone in 5 to 7
9) in respect of the son or daughter of anyone in 4, that person’s:
- husband or wife or former husband or wife
- civil partner or former civil partner, or
- partner or former partner
For 3 (in relation to the child) and for 4 (in relation to the parent) include:
- a half-brother or half-sister
- step-brother or step-sister
- an adopted brother or an adopted sister
For 7, a partner is the other member of a couple consisting of:
- a man and woman who are not married to each other but are living together as husband and wife, or
- two people of the same sex who are not civil partners of each other but are living together as if they were civil partners
4. How to apply
To apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits you will need to complete an application form. The application requires the:
- personal details of the applicant – the family member caring for the child
- child’s details and the periods of care
- personal details of the child’s parent (or main carer) – the Child Benefit recipient
- applicant and the parent must both sign their declarations on the application
When to apply
Specified Adult Childcare credits can be awarded retrospectively, to 6 April 2011 at the earliest.
We cannot accept applications for a particular tax year until the following October at the earliest. For example, for the tax year 2018 to 2019 applications must not be made until October 2019. This is because we need to check the parent already has a qualifying year for National Insurance purposes, and that can take until the October.
Call the helpline with any questions about Specified Adult Childcare credits.
National Insurance Helpline
Phone: 0300 200 3500
Textphone: 0300 200 3519
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 8am to 4pm