Grandparent, or other family member, who care for a child under 12? Specified adult childcare NI credits

MM&R by PSP(c)2020

You may be entitled to receive NI credits if you are a grandparent, or other family member, who cares for a child under 12, usually whilst their parent (or main carer) is working. These credits have been available since April 2011.

If you qualify you must make an application to receive the NI credits.

Since March 2020, your normal caring arrangements may have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have provided care in a different way, over the telephone or video, you can still apply for NI credits for the financial years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021.

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 care for a related child under 12. Therefore, if no one has claimed Child Benefit for the child there is no attached NI credit to transfer and Specified Adult Care credits cannot be awarded.

As Specified Adult Childcare credits work by transferring the NI credit attached to Child Benefit from the Child Benefit recipient to a specified adult, there is not a credit available for each child under 12 cared for, there is a credit for each Child Benefit recipient. For example, if 2 grandparents are caring for their daughter’s 2 children, there is only one credit available for transfer and the Child Benefit recipient must decide who should have the credit. However, if the grandparents are caring for their daughter’s child and their son’s child, there are likely to be 2 Child Benefit recipients and therefore 2 credits available for transfer.

What you’ll get

Specified Adult Childcare credits will help build up your National Insurance contributions. This means:

  • you will receive a Class 3 NI credit for each week or part week you cared for the child (Class 3 NI credits help to build entitlement to the State Pension)
  • it can help to stop gaps in your National Insurance record

Who can apply?

You can apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits if:

  • 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 NI 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 NI credit for the period stated

How to apply

To apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits complete the application form. It requires the:

  • personal details of the applicant – the family member caring for the child
  • child’s details and the periods of care
  • personal details of the child’s parent (or main carer) – the Child Benefit recipient
  • applicant and the parent must both sign their declarations on the application

When to apply

Specified Adult Childcare credits can be awarded retrospectively, to 6 April 2011 at the earliest.

HMRC cannot accept applications for a particular tax year until the following October at the earliest. For example, for the tax year 2019 to 2020 applications must not be made until October 2020. This is because HMRC need to check the parent already has a qualifying year for National Insurance purposes, and that can take until the October.

Can PAYadvice help me to apply?

October onwards is the point for making applications to HMRC. As a supervised and regulated accountancy service provider agent, PAYadvice Ltd can help. However, you can make the application yourself for free if you can print and post the form.

If you do need help to complete the application, you can contact PAYadvice to assist, there would be a small fee to pay for the time taken to assist, and any associated printing and postage.

How can PAYadvice assist:

– if you are unable to print your own form, we can print this for you, provide and post to your address (you would need to pay for us to print and post £3.50). On receipt you then complete the form, sign it with the parent and post it to HMRC.

– we can print and assist with completion of the form, this would then be posted to you for the final signing and sending on to HMRC. This assistance would incur a modest administration charge (£20) to cover time and calls and there would be a need to check your identification under requirements for accountancy service provision (to fulfill legal obligations under Anti-Money Laundering legislation) however we can help you.

If you need assistance or want to find out more please contact us

PAYadvice.UK 8/10/2020

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