Home Responsibilities Protection: what was HRP and who qualified for it: overview of conditions for entitlement
Regulation 2 of the Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) Regulations 1994(SI 1994/704) (“the 1994 regulations”)
To be entitled to HRP a person had to be accepted as having been precluded from regular employment by responsibilities at home for a full tax year throughout which they satisfied at least one of the following conditions as set out in regulation 2::
- that Child Benefit was awarded to them for a child under 16, see NIM41330 and NIM41331
- that Child Benefit was awarded to their partner (defined as someone they were both residing with and sharing the care of a child with) for a child under 16
- that they were in receipt of Income Support and not required to work because they were caring for a sick or disabled person, see NIM41345
- that they were registered as a foster carer from the start of the 2003/4 tax year or any subsequent year, see NIM41335
- that they were regularly engaged (for at least 35 hours per week) in caring for a person in respect of whom prescribed disability benefits were paid for at least 48 weeks of the year, see NIM41340
HRP was awarded automatically if the first condition was satisfied and the person concerned had supplied the required information to the Child Benefit Office.
HRP was awarded automatically if the third condition was satisfied.
It was also possible for a person to be entitled to HRP if they satisfied, in one complete tax year, a combination of the above conditions in the following way:
* being regularly engaged (for at least 35 hours per week) in caring for a person in respect of whom prescribed disability benefits were payable for the remainder of the same tax year.
A customer was in receipt of Child Benefit from 6 April to August of a tax year but they were also in receipt of Income Support and not required to be available for work because they were caring for an adult family member until the end of the tax year. So long as they were precluded from employment, within the meaning of regulations, for the whole of the tax year they were entitled to HRP.
Married Women and Widows with a non-paying election
As a general rule a married woman or widow who held (or was treated as holding) an election to pay reduced rate Class 1 NICs as an employee (or not to pay Class 2 NICs if self-employed) was not eligible for HRP for any year where, at the start of the year they held the election. For more information about such elections see NIM30000.
Regulation 6 of the 1994 regulations did, however, provide an exception for women (or widows) who, throughout the period from 6 April 1975 to 5 April 1980 held such an election but had no earnings on which Class 1 NICs were payable and was not at any time a self-employed earner (i.e. she did not work during this period). Under these circumstances, her election was disregarded for HRP purposes. In effect, the election was treated as if it lapsed from 5 April 1978 and the woman could be awarded HRP from 6 April 1978 if she satisfied the conditions for entitlement.