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National Insurance is a scheme where people in work make payments towards benefits. The payments are called National Insurance contributions and certain benefits are only payable if you meet the National Insurance contribution conditions. The National Insurance scheme is administered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

If you claim a benefit or tax credit, you’ll need a National Insurance number. This applies even if it is not a benefit which depends on National Insurance contributions. You’ll also need to supply your National Insurance number in other circumstances, for example, when you start a new job or apply for a student loan.

Citizens Advice Information: National Insurance

GOV.UK: National Insurance Overview