Pension Credit for kinship carers

Information and advice on Pension Credit for kinship carers who are State Pension age or above, on a low income and need financial support.

Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people over State Pension age. It is an extra amount paid by the government to top up your living costs if you’re on a low income. The amount you get will depend on your overall household income.

You can have up to £10,000 in savings without your Pension Credit being affected. Any savings or investments over £10,000 will affect the amount of Pension Credit you receive. For example, for every £500 you have over £10,000, £1 will be taken from your total pension credit entitlement.

If you have a partner, you will also need to include them in your claim as both your savings and income will need to be calculated together.

If your partner is below State Pension age

If your partner is below State Pension age, you can’t normally make a ‘new’ claim for Pension Credit. You can only make a new claim for Pension Credit if:

  • you reached state pension age before 15 May 2019
  • you have been claiming housing benefit since before 15 May 2019

If the above does not apply, you will need to make a claim for Universal Credit instead.

If you’re already getting Pension Credit, then you can continue to get the benefit unless you have a change of circumstances.

Pension Credit, other income, benefits and savings

When your Pension Credit application is assessed, other income, benefits and savings will be included in the calculation, including:

  • your State Pension
  • other pensions, like work pensions or private pensions if you have them
  • any earnings from employment and self-employment
  • most social security benefits, for example Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Working Tax Credits (WTC)
  • Capital over £10,000

Other benefits, including Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance and Winter Fuel Allowance, do not count as income.

Find out more about eligibility for Pension Credit on GOV.UK

Pension Credit rates

Pension Credit tops up your income to a certain weekly level.

The amount the government says you can live on will increase if you have caring responsibilities, a disability or housing cost.

Check what you’ll get on GOV.UK to find out how much Pension Credit you qualify for, depending on your particular circumstances.

Apply for Pension Credit

You can apply for Pension Credit up to four months before you turn State Pension age. You’ll need some personal information in order to apply:

  • your National Insurance number
  • details of any pensions, savings and investments

If you have a partner, you’ll need to provide the same information about them.

If you’ve already applied for your State Pension, you can apply online for Pension Credit. Or you can call the Pension Credit helpline on 0800 99 1234.

Apply online for Pension Credit (GOV.UK)

Support from Kinship

Here at Kinship, we offer a range of free support for all kinship carers, including workshops, online advice and information, and peer support groups.

Contact our advice service to speak to an adviser or book an appointment.