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Grandparents providing childcare can claim NI credits

Written by: Emma Lunn
Family members providing free childcare for working parents can apply for National Insurance (NI) credits to their State Pension for the previous tax year from today.

NI credits were introduced in April 2011. You may be entitled to receive these if you are a grandparent, or other family member, who cares for a child under 12 – usually while their parent, or main carer, is working.

Each credit currently buys £260 of annual State Pension, payable for life from State Pension age.

To be eligible, both parents must be working for at least 16 hours per week and earning at or above the national minimum wage. The carer must be under State Pension age and the child must be under 12, or 17 if they have disabilities.

Called the ‘Specified Adult Childcare Credit’, those carers not paying National Insurance themselves can claim these valuable top-ups to their State Pension.

Kay Ingram, director of public policy at national financial planning group LEBC, says: “HMRC believe that this benefit is underclaimed, and many who are eligible are therefore missing out.

“Those who have been providing childcare in earlier years can backdate their claim to the point at which the scheme started i.e. in 2011. This could mean claiming up to nine years’ credits, currently worth £2,340 of annual State Pension.

“During lockdown many relatives have been unable to see their families, but the government have confirmed that carers who have continued to provide childcare remotely will still qualify for these credits.”

Claims can be made on the DWP website, form CA9176 or by calling 0300 200 3500.

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