Martin Lewis reveals ‘little known benefit’ for grandparents that can add thousands to pensions

Money saving guru Martin Lewis has highlighted a “little known” benefit that could mean grandparents providing childcare for their grandchild could add thousands of pounds to their pension.

The financial whizz highlighted a benefit known as Specified Adult Childcare credits, which can be claimed by family members who care for a child under 12, usually whilst their parent is working.

By claiming the credits, the person carding for the child can build up their National Insurance conditions, as well as adding “thousands of pounds” to a state pension, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Taking to Twitter to draw attention to the hack, Martin wrote: “Pls share. There's a little known benefit for grandparents who look after their grandchildren while parents work."

“If ur a parent of an under 12, if your parent (ie childs grandparent) do childcare so you can work, u can apply to get em "Specified Adult Childcare Credit.”

"This means they get the National Insurance years that normally go to a parent who is off work looking after children (as you're working you'll usually be getting from work). This can add £1,000s to a state pension."

The Money Saving Expert founder then shared a link to a government page which explains the benefit in full, with the full eligibility outlined below.

What do the credits mean?

The credits mean that claimants will relieve a Class 3 National Insurance credit for each week, or the days they care for the child.

These credits can then help build an entitlement to the State pension, and, until April 2017, certain bereavement benefits.

They can also help to stop gaps in your National Insurance record.

Who can apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits?

To apply for the benefit, you must 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
  • 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

The parent or main carer of the child you look after must also countersign the application form to confirm that you do take care of the child you are claiming for.

How do you apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits?

The process to apply for the benefit is relatively straight forward and involves filling in an application form that requires the personal details of the applicant, the child they care for, along with details of the periods of care and personal details of the child’s parent or main carer.

On the application form, a parent will be required to sign the declarations that they consent to you applying, while also confirming that the details given are accurate.

How long do I have to apply?

Unlike many benefits with a much narrower window to claim, Specific Adult Childcare credits can be awarded retrospectively for around ten years.

This means that claims reaching as far back at 6 April 2011 can still be made, however the government cannot accept applications for a particular tax year until the following October at the earliest.

Find out more about Specified Adult Childcare credits and apply for the benefithere .

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