Grandparents could be able to claim up to £3,000 – all you need to know

Grandparents are being encouraged to check if they are eligible to claim up to £3,000 from the Government.

With the cost of living crisis and rising childcare costs, some families rely on older relatives for childcare help.

But many are not aware they can be financially compensated for their time.

In fact, grandparents could be eligible for extra credits worth £275 a year by the government.

This could work out to be just over £3,000 if someone who has been providing childcare every year since 2011/12 puts in a claim.

As reported by The Sun, the credits are known as “specified adult childcare credits” and they count as a national insurance (NI) credit for those who don’t otherwise work.

It could prove to be extra useful as you need at least 10 years’ worth of NI credits to qualify for the state pension, and at least 35 years’ worth to get it in full.

Former pensions minister Steve Webb, a partner at consultants LCP, has encouraged grandparents to put in an application if they think they are eligible.

He said: “Informal childcare by another family member is often what enables a parent to go out to work, especially given the high cost of formal childcare.

“National Insurance credits help people to protect their state pension while doing valuable work such as looking after a child. Now that applications are open for 2021/22, I would encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible to put in an application.

“They should also think about whether they might have been entitled at any point since 2011, as there is currently no deadline for backdated claims.”

How to claim
Many will be wondering if they are eligible to claim for the extra credits.

Well, to claim, a carer must be under the state pension age, which is 66 years old, and the child must be under 12 years old, or 17 if they have disabilities.

Anyone living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can put in a claim.

You’re also only eligible if the child’s parent is entitled to child benefit and has a qualifying year for national insurance without needing the parent’s class 3 national insurance credits which they receive automatically from child benefit.

There is no minimum requirement for the number of hours of care to qualify.

How much can you claim?
This depends on how many years you have been looking after your grandchildren.

Each yearly credit is worth 1/35 of the value of the state pension, which is currently around £275 per year.

You can also backdate claims from as far back as 2011, meaning a person could claim just over £3,000.

How to claim the credits
Parents need to sign over their child benefit national insurance credit to someone else in order for a person to claim them.

Parents should only do this if they’re already in work or earning credits another way themselves.

Only one grandparent or family member can receive the credit and the credit isn’t per child, but per child benefit claimant, The Sun explains.