If you care, or have cared for your grandchildren in the past, you could be missing out on around £5,000.
Grandparents and other family members who look after a child or children under 12 while their parents work could get up to £250 a year in tax credits. Over the course of an average 20-year retirement, that’s a sizeable £5,000.
According to recent findings, millions of people who qualify don’t claim, and it could be costing them thousands.
Specified Adult Childcare credits
The tax credits are known as Specified Adult Childcare credits. They count as National Insurance credit for those who don’t otherwise work.
To qualify for the State Pension, you need at least 10 years’ worth of National Insurance credits, and 35 years’ worth to receive the full State Pension.
So, if you weren’t working while looking after your grandchild and missed out on National Insurance credits, thus affecting your State Pension entitlement, this could help.
What does it do for me?
Specified Adult Childcare credits will help build up your National Insurance contributions. This means:
- You will receive a Class 3 National Insurance credit for each week or part week you cared for the child (Class 3 National Insurance 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
Do I qualify?
You could qualify for the Specified Adult Childcare credits if you meet the following criteria:
- 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 National Insurance 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 National Insurance credit for the period stated
Make sure you take a look at what other benefits you may be entitled to using the independent benefits calculator at Entitledto