National Insurance numbers
A National Insurance number is required in order to work in the UK. You can apply for it online. To do so, you’ll need to provide proof of your identity and address.
In order to obtain a National Insurances number you will need to prove that you are eligible to work in the UK and that you live there. This includes providing documents such as a passport, driving licence, utility bill, bank statement or council tax bill.
If you’re applying for a NI number because you’ve just moved into the UK, you’ll need to show evidence of where you’ve been living since moving here. For example, you could include a letter from your previous employer or landlord confirming that you lived there.
You can find out more about what you need to provide by reading our guide to getting a National Insurance Number.
When a National Insurance Number is required
The UK government says it wants everyone to have a National Insurance number – but what does this mean for you?
You’ll need one if you’re planning to work in the UK, studying in the UK, intending to live and work here permanently, moving to the UK, applying for benefits, claiming tax credits or child benefit, or if you are self-employed.
If you are already living and working in the UK, you won’t need a NI number. But if you’re considering coming to the UK, we’ve put together some information about how to apply for a NI number, what happens next, and whether you’ll need to pay anything.
National insurance numbers are free, but there is no guarantee you’ll receive one, so it pays to act quickly.
When you may obtain a Social Security Number
If you are looking to start work, it could be worth thinking about applying for a National Insurance Number (NIN). This is because if you lose your NIN you won’t be able to claim benefits like Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support and Universal Credit. But what do you actually need to apply for one? And how long does it take? We explain…
You must be 18 or over. To apply for a National Insurance number, you’ll need to be aged 18 or over. However, if you’re under 16, you can still apply for a Child Benefit card, which gives you access to some child benefit payments.
If you’ve already applied for a job, you might want to check whether you have a National Insurance Number. If you haven’t had much luck getting a job, you might find out that you don’t have a NIN. If you think you might be eligible, you can apply online here.
If you lost your NIN, you can contact the Department for Work and Pensions who will send a replacement. They will ask you to provide proof that you live in the UK and that you’re entitled to a NIN. Once you’ve done this, they’ll issue you with a replacement NIN within 10 working days.
If you’re a UK resident less than 19 years old
The National Insurance number (NI Number) is a unique 10 digit code used to identify people living in the United Kingdom. This number is assigned to every person born in the UK, regardless of age, gender or nationality. It is required for anyone working in the UK, whether it be full-time or part-time work.
For those aged between 16 and 18, there is no requirement to obtain an NI Number. However, parents of children under 18 are encouraged to apply for one.
If you are under 16, however, you should receive an automatic NI Number. A child’s NI Number is usually given to them within three months of birth.
If you are over 18, you do not need to apply for an individual NI Number. Instead, employers require proof of identity and eligibility to work.
If you possess a biometric residency card (BRP)
The deadline for applying for a biometric residence permit is September 30th 2018. You must provide proof of identity and nationality. This includes providing evidence of your name, date of birth, address and nationality.
In addition, you must provide evidence of your place of origin. For example, you could show your passport or national ID card.
You can use the same documents to apply for a UK visa. However, if you are granted a visa, you cannot change your nationality without changing your name.
Your BRP will be valid until September 30th 2021. After this period, you will need to renew your BRP.
If you are claiming benefits or applying for a student loan
There’s nothing stopping you from claiming benefit payments without having an NI Number. If you are eligible for certain benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Working Tax Credits, you do not need an NI Number to receive those payments. However, you must provide proof of identity and address to claim these benefits.
Students who claim benefits before starting university should check whether they already hold an NI Number. This could prevent them from receiving financial support while studying. You do not need an NI number to apply for a student loan. But you must prove your eligibility to apply for one.
You don’t need an NI Number to register for courses online. If you want to study at home, you don’t need to obtain an NI Number. You just need to provide proof of ID and address.
If you have lost your National Insurance Number
The government has launched a campaign to help people whose NI numbers are missing or incorrect. If you think you’ve lost it, check here to see if you’re affected. You’ll need to provide some proof of identity and contact your local jobcentre plus the DWP.
You might need to make a claim under the Pension Protection Fund scheme. This could mean you’ll receive a letter asking for further information.
Don’t panic – there’s nothing to worry abut. There’s no cause for concern and we won’t take action against you.
Eligibility to apply for a National Insurance Number
You must live in the UK if you want to apply for a National Health Service number. If you are eligible to live in the UK, you can apply for a National Insurance number. You do not need to wait for your NI number to work. You can start working before receiving it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I get a National Insurance number from?
You probably don’t realize it, but you’re about to receive a very important piece of paper known as a National Insurance Number. This document gives you access to many benefits including free prescriptions, tax credits and child benefit.
If you are born in England, Scotland or Wale, you’ll receive your NI number at age 16. However, if you are coming over from another EU member state, you’ll need to apply for one beforehand.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to provide proof of your identity.
The same applies if you want to claim Child Benefit. You must be able to show your passport or national ID card.
Who uses your National Insurance number
The government wants people to use their National Insurance Number (NINo) when applying for jobs or claiming benefits. But it doesn’t want anyone else to see it – including employers and public bodies. The NINo is used to identify individuals in employment records, tax returns and benefit claims. This makes it easier for us to keep track of how much we earn, how much tax we owe, and whether our children are entitled to free school meals.