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Grandparents doing virtual childcare can still claim NI credits

Written by: Emma Lunn
Grandparents caring for children aged under the age of 12 can still claim National Insurance credits for virtual childcare.

The Government has updated its guidance regarding Specified Adult Childcare credits which were introduced in April 2011.

Grandparents and other family members caring for a child under 12 while their parents are working can claim NI credits which can build up their NI contribution record.

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 childcare.

The Government has confirmed that although normal caring arrangements may have been affected by coronavirus, family members who have provided care in a different way, for example over the telephone or video, can still apply for NI credits for the financial years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, says: “Grandparents play a crucial role in helping to look after their grandchildren so parents can go to work. During the coronavirus crisis most grandparents have been unable to continue to carry out this role face to face, but have continued to provide vital care and support by phone, Facetime, Zoom or other video services.

“Although generally unpaid, it’s a little known fact that grandparents under state pension age can claim NI credits for looking after their grandchildren who are under 12. These NI credits can be  extremely useful in helping to not only plug NI gaps, but also to build up the 35 qualifying NI years to get entitlement to the full state pension.”

There’s a strict time limit in claiming the NI credits, as grandparents need to be below state pension age when they cared for the under 12s.

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