Problems getting a National Insurance Number during COVID-19 pandemic

Why is having a NI number important?

Your NI number is your unique identifier within the UK’s social security system. If you’re liable to pay National Insurance contributions, want to pay them voluntarily, or if you wish to claim tax credits, welfare benefits or apply for a student loan – you need an NI number.

Why is my NI number taking so long to arrive?

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, it became quite difficult to carry out the necessary face-to-face interview to confirm the identity of the applicant, so the NI number applications were hard to complete. The recent development of events has given the possibility for applicants to submit their application without an interview in the following circumstances:

  • You’re submitting your application in England, Scotland or Wales
  • You’ve entered the UK on a visa

Applicants who are coming from abroad, had interaction with the Home Office and were granted permission to work from them may be in a favourable position as DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) will be able to verify their submissions with Home Office.

Even if you have not received your NI number you can be employed in the UK, provided that you can prove your right to work in the UK. Your employer should deduct your NI contributions as usual and all RTI submissions should contain as many of your personal details as possible.

If you do have an NI number, but seems that you’ve misplaced it, you can easily find it by taking a look at your payslip, P45/P60 forms or by logging into your Personal Tax Account where you can save or print a copy of the NI number confirmation letter.