Calculating Hours to Claim Carer's Credit


I don’t know if there is someone in the forum who has familiarity with the requirements of this benefit who might advise me.

I am not working or currently claiming any benefits and live with my partner who is on PIP. I am thinking of applying for Carers Credit to pay some extra NI credits. I am confused about the requirement to show 20 hours of caring per week, as no guidance is given about how the 20 hours should be calculated.

I am basically with her all the time and assist in various ways in terms of personal care as well as doing the bulk of domestic jobs. For example if she lived alone and paid someone to come in, it would certainly be more than 20 hours per week including personal care and domestic tasks, but obviously as we live together we have some joint benefit from tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Also, because I am here, I am not just doing nothing and waiting to assist her. I can be doing my own thing and if she needs help, I can drop what I’m doing for however long is required - a few seconds or a a few minutes. So should I have an imaginary stopwatch and be counting - five minutes to do this, ten minutes to do that?

I hope someone can give some guidance on this.

Hi & welcome Andy

Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
You look after that person for at least 35 hours a week

The 35 hours can include:

time spent physically helping the person
time you spend ‘keeping an eye’ on the person, eg preventing them coming to harm by walking out of the house
time spent doing practical tasks for them, eg cooking
time taken doing practical tasks, even if you don’t do them in the presence of the person you are looking after, may also count (for instance, if you look after someone who visits you regularly for the care they need, time spent preparing for the visit or cleaning up afterwards should count)
You must provide 35 hours of care for every week you claim Carer’s Allowance (the 35 hours can be at any time of the day or night). For Carer’s Allowance, a week runs from Sunday to Saturday. You cannot average out your hours over a number of weeks. However you are allowed certain breaks in care (you can see more information on breaks in care here).

You cannot add together the time you spend caring for different people to make up the 35 hours. If you care for more than one person, you must choose which person you claim for, as you can only get one payment of Carer’s Allowance.

Similarly, if you share the caring role with another person, and you both provide at least 35 hours of care every week, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance. You need to decide between you who should make the claim. The other person should seek advice about the benefits they can claim, and may be able to claim Carer’s Credit for the time they are caring.

If the person you are looking after is also caring for someone else, you can both claim Carer’s Allowance for looking after different people as long as you both meet the criteria. This also applies if you are caring for each other.

Andy I suspect you do a lot more than 35 hrs.

The 35 hours for claiming Carers Allowance doesn’t have to be hands on care, all sorts of things count towards it, washing, shopping, being on alert in case they need you. I don’t understand why you are not thinking of claiming Carer Allowance, not just Carers Credit. If you have CA you are not required to look for work.


Many thanks for the info both - I will also follow the link and have a look through that too.

For Carer’s Credit, I only have to show 20 hours but from what you both say about it, it looks like I’d have no problem meeting this.

Do I have to show I am looking for work to claim Carers Credit? I missed that requirement. I thought that was only for Universal Credit which I would not get anyway due to savings.

I’m not sure about claiming Carers Allowance. I thought that might affect my parner’s PIP as we’d be claiming twice in effect for the same thing - once for her to get the care and again for me to give it so to speak.

Thanks again - I will investigate further.