A to Z

Useful areas

Home Responsibilities Protection

What is it?   Can I get it?   What else should I know?   How do I claim?   How do I claim if I am a foster carer?   When do I need to claim?   What happens if?   More information   Other help.

What is it?

  • Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) is not a benefit, but a scheme which helps you protect your basic State Pension.
  • You may also get extra pension through State Second Pension.
  • If you do not work or your earnings are low and you are caring for someone, you may be able to get Home Responsibilities Protection.
  • From April 2003, HRP is also available to registered foster carers.

to top

Can I get it?

Do you get:

  • Child Benefit in your name for a child under the age of 16, and you have told us your National Insurance number? (This link will take you to the Department for Work and Pensions website.)
  • Income Support and do not need to register for work, because you are caring for someone who is sick or disabled? (This link will take you to the Jobcentre Plus website.)

If you receive one of the above, you should get HRP automatically.

Or are you:

If YES to one or both of the above, you should apply for HRP.

to top

What else should I know?

If you get Carers Allowance you will get NI credits and will not usually need HRP.

If you are a woman, you cannot get HRP for any year you are entitled to pay reduced NI contributions for married women and widows, while you are working.

HRP also helps protect Bereavement Benefits for your husband or wife. Information about both of these benefits is available on the Deparment for Work and Pensions website.)

to top

How do I claim?

To claim, contact us to request a copy of the leaflet - How to protect your State Pension if you are looking after someone at home (CF411).

It is important that we can be sure of your identity when you make a claim. We may need to ask you about your background and look at any official documents you have to support the information you give.

Extra Pension help from 2002. From April 2002, the State Second Pension reformed the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS). In particular, for the first time, people who do not work, or who earn very little, may be able to receive extra pension, if throughout a qualifying year, they are:

  • awarded Child Benefit for a child under age 6
  • entitled to Carer's Allowance or
  • getting HRP because they are caring for an ill or disabled person.

For more information, see Additional State Pension.

to top

How do I claim if I am a foster carer?

If you are a registered foster carer you also need to fill in form CF411 and also show that you have been a registered foster carer throughout the tax year from 6 April 2003 to 5 April 2004. You need to provide a letter of confirmation from the local authority or agency you work for, confirming that you have been an approved foster carer throughout the full tax year.

to top

When do I need to claim?

HRP has been available for full tax years from April 1978.

If you are claiming HRP for years you have spent caring for someone with a long-term illness or disability between April 1978 and 5 April 2002, you can claim at any time up to State Pension age. But it would be best if you did not wait too long before claiming as it usually becomes more difficult to remember details of what you were doing as time goes by.

Since April 2002, a new rule has been in force. This means that, from April 2002 onwards, you must claim any HRP you need to within three years of the end of any tax year you spent caring for someone with a long-term illness or disability.

This time limit only applies to caring which takes place during or after the tax year 2002/03.

If you are awarded HRP automatically, for example through Income Support or Child Benefit, the new rule does not apply to you as you do not need to make a claim.

If you are a registered foster carer, you can fill in form CF411 at any time after April 2004 if you have been approved throughout the 2003/04 tax year when HRP became available.

to top

What happens if?

I go into hospital or someone I claim for goes into hospital?
You must tell us as soon as you go into or come out of hospital. You must also tell us if someone you get benefit for goes into hospital.

I go to live abroad or visit?
Let us know as soon as you can that you are going abroad. You can get more information about social security agreements with other countries on the Department of Work and Pensions website, or more information about living overseas on this website.

I go into a residential centre or a nursing home?
Your HRP may be affected if you or the person you care for go into care or a home.

to top

More information

Contact The Pension Service.

to top

Other help

You can apply for a State Pension Forecast
Child Benefit (This will take you to HM Revenue & Customs website)
Carers Allowance (This will take you to the Department for Work and Pensions website)
Income Support (This will take you to the Department for Work and Pensions website)
Pension Credit
Living overseas? Read our frequently asked questions section
More help on other benefits

Remember that this website is only a general guide to benefits and schemes, and is not a full and authoritative statement of the law.

Send this page to a friend  |  to top