National Insurance

You’ll need a National Insurance number to claim benefits, even if you’ve never worked before. You’ll also need to have paid some National Insurance to qualify for certain benefits.

If you don’t have one, you’ll need to apply for a National Insurance number at GOV.UK.

You can also check where to find your National Insurance number at GOV.UK if you’ve lost it.

If you’ve been told you haven’t paid enough National Insurance to claim a benefit:

You can check how much National Insurance you’ve paid on GOV.UK. You’ll need to set up an online account to check.

If you think you’ve paid more National Insurance than your record shows, you should contact the National Insurance Contributions Office. It’s best to write – keep a copy so you have a record of what you’ve asked.

You should write even if you haven’t paid enough to get the benefit you’re claiming – it’ll help if you need to claim in future. For example, you need to have paid National Insurance for a total of 10 years to get a reduced state pension.

Other Helpful Links:

GOV.UK: National Insurance Overview

Adviceline: (free)


*Adviceline is open 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday