You may be entitled to receive NI credits if you are a grandparent or other family member looking after a child under 12, whilst the main carer or parent is working, as these credits have been available since April 2011. If you qualify, you must make an application to receive the NI credits.

You can claim the Class 3 National Insurance Credits from 6 April 2011 if you meet the below criteria:

  • you are an eligible family member who provided care for a child
    aged under 12
  • their parent or main carer does not need the credits themselves.

Who is classed as an eligible family member:

  • mother or father who does not live with the child
  • grandparent, great-grandparent, or great-great-grandparent
  • aunt or uncle
  • brother or sister which can include:

    How does it work?

    These credits transfer the weekly National Insurance credit a parent or carer gets as the Child Benefit recipient, to an eligible family member. You will get a Class 3 National Insurance credit for each week, or part week you provided care for the child. This can help to fill/stop gaps in your National Insurance record.

    There is only one credit available for each Child Benefit claim no matter how many children are on the claim itself.

    There is no attached National Insurance credit to transfer if no one has claimed Child Benefit for the child. This means credits cannot be awarded.

    Eligibility criteria:

    • you are an eligible family member, who provided care for a child
      aged under 12
    • you were aged 16 years and over, but under State Pension age, when you provided care for the child
    • you are ordinarily resident in the UK, but not the Channel Islands or the
      Isle of Man
    • the child’s parent or main carer has claimed Child Benefit, but does not need the credits themselves
    • the child’s parent or main carer agrees to your application.

    The child’s parent or main carer must countersign the form to confirm they agree that, for the period stated, you have provided care for their child and can have the credits

    When to claim

    Checks need to be made to see if the parent or main carer already has a qualifying year for National Insurance purposes, so you must wait until 31 October after the end of the tax year you want to apply for.

    How to claim

    Both you and the Child Benefit recipient must sign a declaration on the application form.

    To complete an application form, you will need to get all of your information together before you start, such as child’s details, personal details of the parent or main carer etc. You need to complete the form CA9176 online and you cannot save your progress. This form will then need to be printed and posted to HMRC using the postal address shown on the form

    Apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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