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Thread: Carers credit towards state pension questions

  1. #1

    Carers credit towards state pension questions

    Hello folks,

    I would be grateful for any advice that would help my partner to get carers credit which I understand builds up NI contributions towards a state pension.

    We have a child with special needs on high rate care and high rate mobility of DLA, and as our child is under 12 I believe my partner gets the NI contributions for that to build up her state pension entitlement. She doesn't get carers allowance, its a little complicated, but a long short, I already got an adult addition for her under the old IB which has been carried forward as Transitional protection on the ESA (CB) that I myself receive.

    So at the moment we think its best to continue with the above arrangement instead of her applying for a separate carers allowance.

    1 Now my question is, as regards my partners NI credit towards the state pension. From what I have read it seems the NI credit that my partner already gets, will only last until child is 12 years old, is this correct, and when our child reaches 12, my partner will have to apply for a NI credit towards her state Pension?

    2 Could this trigger a UC claim, as only means tested benefit we are on is Child tax credits, and we wouldn't be entitled to UC anyways?

    3 Is it only one person that can claim the Ni credit towards the state pension. I ask because if my ESA was stopped could both of us claim that credit to build up Ni contributions for state pension?

    Many thanks for any advice.
    John

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Not sure about this, I'll have to take a look (and I've had beer or two today so it may be tomorrow).

    I'm not sure of the rules with child DLA and NI credits.

    The only thing that means you get migrated to UC is if you make any new claim for an Income Related benefit.
    CA is not an IR benefit so there shouldn't be a problem there.
    But if your partner does claim CA then as an overlapping benefit it may affect your ESA.

    Your third question is also intetesting.
    Normally you have to have a claim in your own name to get NI credits.
    So a partner without their own claim would/should be covered by the partners credits.
    But as with everything pension it's all very complicated.

    Hopefully I can give a better reply later.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  3. #3
    Thanks Nukecad,

    More googling seems to to suggest that once a youngest child reaches 12 the credits are cut, but can be credited again provided 20 hours are spent caring or the carer get carers allowance, subject to PIP or DlA requirements, both of the above has to be applied for though.

    Not sure if two people can get credits if caring for the same person, but I would doubt it somewhat.

    if you do happen to come up with anything more, many thanks.
    John

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi john,

    I've had a bit of a look around and come up with an answer but also some questions:

    Looking on the Government webpage, there is no mention of NI credits related directly to child DLA.
    https://www.gov.uk/national-insuranc...ts/eligibility

    The relevent clause here would be:
    • You get Class 3 NI credits automatically if you are a parent registered for Child Benefits for a child under 12 (Even if you don't receive it).
    • You can apply for Class 3 credits if you are not a parent but are a family member looking after a child under 12.
    • You can apply for Class 3 carers credits if you are caring for a sick or disabled person for more than 20 hrs a week.
    • You get Class 1 credits automatically if you are on Carers Allowance.

    I'm assuming that up to now your partner has been automatically getting class 3 credits with being registered for Child Benefit.

    So the best choice for your partner would seem to be to claim CA and get Class 1 credits in her own right.
    Alternatively she could apply for Class 3 credits for caring more than 20 hours.
    (You would continue to get Class 1 credits for yourself with your ESA).

    If she does claim CA then it gets more interesting; and it's going to depend on just what your ESA is.

    To start with if she claims CA then your money as a couple should not go down and may go up.
    I say 'should not go down' because it would also depend on your Transitional Allowance.
    Your partner claiming a benefit in her own right could end the TA.

    It will need working out carefully.

    Your partners CA payment would be deducted from your ESA as an overlapping benefit.
    But if you have an underlying entitlement to some IR ESA then a 'Carer Premium' could be added to the ESA. (an extra £37.50/week as from next month).

    But it still might not change your overall payments as a couple, depending on how much your Transitional Addition is now worth.
    A TA decreases in value as the ESA rates increase each year, so we'd have to work out just what your TA is now.

    I know that you said that your ESA is CB, but are you sure it's only CB?
    The fact that you already get CTC, which is an IR benefit, says that you should also have an underlying entitlement to IR ESA.
    You may have an underlying entitlement to IR ESA that you don't see as being paid because of your Transitional Addition.
    Having a TA can 'mask' the fact that you also have an IR entitlement if the TA is more than IR ESA would pay.

    Let's see if we can work it out from a few questions-
    1. You've already said that you were transferred from IB, have you had a form ESA3(IBR) in the past couple of years about the error that they made when doing those transfers?
    2. If so then what was the outcome of that?
      (I'm guessing that if you got one then no change in payment because of your TA, but there may have been a change in underlying entitlement).
    3. Can you tell us just how much ESA you currently get?
      You may have had an updating letter recently saying what ESA you will be paid as from April, if you could give the payment details/breakdown from the last page of that it would be even better.

    As said above UC should not be an issue here because the only new claim would be for CA which is outside of UC.
    (But from what you have said then you are entitled to claim UC if necessary, unless you have the Severe Disability Premium that is).
    Last edited by nukecad; 14-03-20 at 14:31. Reason: Revised in light of existing CTC.
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  5. #5
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    The OP says that they would not be eligible for UC so may not be eligible for income based ESA anyway due to savings over £16000?

    The transition period for IB to ESA ends in April 2020 so the OP's wife could probably claim CA once this ends and get the money plus Class 1 NI credits.
    I try my best

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Good point about the UC, but sometimes people who think they wouldn't be entitled actually are.
    We saw quite a bit of that with the ESA3(IBR)s wher people who thought they weren't entitled actually got backpayments.

    In this case the OP says that they get CTC, which is an income related benefit that will eventually be migrated to UC.
    So it looks as if they should also have an entitlement to IR ESA, (and thus UC if necessary).

    The Transition Allowance is no longer ending in April, they enacted legislation on 27th February to omit the paragraph from the transitional regs and remove that end date entirely.
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...ulation/2/made

    A TA will now only end when the ESA rates catch up, or when another change of circumstances applies.
    The OP's partner claiming CA looks to be one of those circumstances, Transitional regs 2010, reg 20(2)(d).
    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/...lation/20/made

    So we need to weigh up if the Carer Premium would be higher than the current TA payment or not to be able say which is the best way to go.
    Last edited by nukecad; 14-03-20 at 15:28.
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  7. #7
    Thanks very much for replies.

    It says on my ESA increase letter for this april as follows.

    "your income-related amount is £113.55 less £0.00 so you would have been entitled to ........ £113.55

    However because you are entitled to contribution-based ESA we will pay you ........... £166.20

    Top up payment

    included in your ESA is a top up payment and so on................................................ .£52.65
    .................................................. .............................

    We do realise this is less than my partner claiming carers allowance of £66.15, but are factoring a few other things into consideration, such the extra money we would get in carers allowance taking us over the amount for free school meals, and possible reduction in Child Tax credits though we know that is going to end sooner or later anyways, plus the fact (and I might appear a bit paranoid here) I feel that someone having to check my ESA to take off the top up TP (if partner claimed for CA) might somehow make a re-assessment happen quicker for me.

    If TP was ending then of course my partner would have applied for CA, but as you say that isn't happening now.
    I have had no ESA3(IBR) anytime, many years ago I went straight from put off work on medical grounds to straight onto ESA.

    So i think that as we see it now anyways my partner will simply apply for class three credits only when our child reaches 12.

    On a slightly different matter which we have discussed before on other threads i do get an occupational pension form my former employer of £125 a week which was disregarded as I was getting both pension and old IB before April 2001.

    Previously I thought that pension disregarded might end with the ESA TP running out in April this year, but hopefully now it won't, unless there is legislation to state otherwise.

    Thanks so much once again.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I was forgetting about the previously discussed pension disregard, that does complicate things a bit more.

    And it's also right that CTC although Income Related is not affected by savings, which I now believe from a previous post that you have above £16K of.

    I believe that we decided before that the pensions disregard lasted for as long as you were still receiving ESA, whether you had a TA or not.
    The recent legislation that removed that April 2020 end date for the TA said nothing whatsoever about the pension disregard.
    As said before I think that end date never applied to the pension disregard anyway, no matter what the DM guidance said.
    Which would explain why it wasn't included in the recent legislation, you can't legislate to remove something that isn't there in the first place.


    I still believe that you would be better off if your partner claimed CA, let's look at the possible scenarios.
    We'll rule out any IR ESA because it seems you have savings that disqualify you from that.

    You partner could apply for class 3 Carers Credits, which should leave your benefits as they are. (Which is what you are proposing to do).

    OR

    She could apply for carers allowance, which if awarded would end the ESA Transitional addition.
    As from April that would then give you £113.65 CB ESA plus £67.25 Carers Allowance, giving a Total of £180.90 a week. (£14.70 a week more than ESA with the TA).

    You could have both without them overlapping because the CB ESA is in your name only (partner is not included in CB ESA), and the CA is in her name only.
    (And they can't deduct it as partners earnings from your CB ESA because she is not included in the CB ESA claim).

    I don't think that would be enough to make a difference to free school means or CTC, you'd have to check, but I'm sure it would be welcome in your pocket.

    BUT a possibility to consider:

    The issue then is would the DWP try to end the pension disregard along with the TA?
    I believe that they shouldn't do, but if they did that would mean that 50% of the pension above £85 would be deducted from the ESA, so with a £125 pension that would be £20 a week. (Leaving you with £5.30 a week less than now). Until you took them to tribunal of course.

    So it all goes back to what we discussed in that previous post about the pension disregard, and just how the DWP would treat it if the TA ends.
    We know they like to 'forget' about these more arcane pieces of legislation in the hope that you don't notice and don't take them to tribunal.
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-03-20 at 15:14.
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  9. #9
    Thanks very much for your in-depth reply Nukecad, all very good points that we need to think about.
    Once again I thank you and others on this forums who give up their valuable time and experience to help us all. I for one appreciate it.



    John

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