National Insurance credits

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You may be able to get National Insurance credits if you’re not paying National Insurance, for example when you’re claiming benefits because you’re ill or unemployed.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Credits can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record, to make sure you qualify for certain benefits including the State Pension.

Check your National Insurance record for gaps.

Get credits

Check if you’re eligible for credits - you’ll either get them automatically or you’ll have to apply for them.

You get one of these types of credits if you’re eligible:

  • Class 1 - these count towards your State Pension and may help you qualify for some other benefits, for example New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Class 3 - these count towards your State Pension only

You can transfer your credits that you got from registering for Child Benefit to your spouse or partner who is living with you if you have paid a year’s National Insurance contributions (called a ‘qualifying year’ for State Pension).

Check your credits

Check your National Insurance record to find out if you have credits. If you applied for credits but they’re wrong on your record, contact the office where you applied.

Call the helpline if you have questions about National Insurance credits.

If you disagree with a National Insurance credit decision

You can challenge a decision about your National Insurance credits. This is called asking for mandatory reconsideration.