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Home Responsibilities Protection

Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) was not a benefit but a scheme which between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 2010 helped protect your State Pension. Find out about how to make a claim for previous tax years and the new credits for parents and carers.

Who was eligible

Depending on your circumstances, either you qualified automatically for HRP or you will have to apply.

Qualifying automatically for Home Responsibilities Protection

You got Home Responsibilities Protection automatically if you were:

  • getting Child Benefit in your name for a child under the age of 16 and you had given the Child Benefit Office your National Insurance number
  • getting Income Support and you didn't need to register for work because you were caring for someone who was sick or disabled

Applying for Home Responsibilities Protection

You have to apply for Home Responsibilities Protection if you were:

  • regularly spending at least 35 hours a week looking after someone getting Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate for personal care, or Constant Attendance Allowance
  • a registered foster carer throughout a full tax year and were not getting Child Benefit and were not in paid work, or did not earn enough in a tax year for it to count towards the basic State Pension

How it worked

When working out your basic State Pension, the number of years you got Home Responsibilities Protection was taken away from the number of qualifying years needed to calculate your pension.

But for a full basic State Pension, Home Responsibilities Protection couldn't reduce the number of qualifying years below 20.

You also built up your additional State Pension if you qualified for Home Responsibilities Protection because you:

  • got Child Benefit for a child under the age of six
  • were looking after a sick or disabled person (including a child over the age of six)

Changes from April 2010 for parents and carers

Home Responsibilities Protection has been replaced for people reaching State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010.

From 6 April 2010, parents and carers are able to build up qualifying years through new weekly credits for the basic State Pension and additional State Pension. If you are a parent or carer, you will get a credit for each week in which you:

  • are getting Child Benefit for children aged under 12
  • are an approved foster carer
  • are caring for at least 20 hours a week for people who are getting Attendance Allowance, the middle-rate or highest-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, or Constant Attendance Allowance, or the need for care has been certified

There will be no limit to the credits awarded to parents and carers after April 2010, as long as you meet the qualifying rules.

If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010, complete tax years of Home Responsibilities Protection you have already built up before 2010 have been converted into qualifying years up to a maximum of 22 years. These qualifying years will also count towards bereavement benefits.

Who wasn't eligible

In the following circumstances you would not usually have got HRP.

Carer's Allowance

If you get Carer's Allowance you'll automatically get National Insurance credits and would not usually have needed Home Responsibilities Protection.

Married women or widows

If you were a married woman or a widow, you couldn't get Home Responsibilities Protection for any complete tax year if:

  • you held a Married Woman’s Reduced Rate Election which was in force for that tax year
  • you had chosen to pay reduced rate Class 1 National Insurance contributions as an employee (commonly known as the small stamp)
  • you had chosen not to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions when self-employed

How to claim

You may still be able to apply for Home Responsibilities Protection if you were:

  • caring for a sick or disabled person for a complete tax year before April 2010
  • a foster carer

You can claim Home Responsibilities Protection by contacting HM Revenue & Customs to get application form CF411.

Download a form to print off and complete

You can also download the claim form CF411 from the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Foster carers

When you fill in form CF411, if you're a foster carer you need to give a letter from your local authority or the agency you worked for that confirms you were an approved foster carer throughout the full tax year.

When to claim Home Responsibilities Protection 

If you're claiming Home Responsibilities Protection for years you've spent caring for someone with a long-term illness or disability between April 1978 and April 2002, you can claim at any time. If you're over State Pension age you can still apply. You will not normally be paid any increase of State Pension that may have been due for previous years. 

For the tax years 2002-03 onwards, Home Responsibilities Protection has had to be claimed within three years of the end of any tax year you spent caring for someone with a long-term illness or disability.

Examples

If you were caring for someone with a long-term illness or disability throughout the 2009-10 tax year, you must claim before 5 April 2013.

If you were caring for someone with a long-term illness or disability throughout the 2008-09 tax year, you must claim before 5 April 2012.

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