2. Eligibility

The table below shows if you might be eligible for National Insurance credits. You may get your credits automatically, but in some cases you’ll have to apply for them after the end of the tax year you’re claiming credits for.

Group Who qualifies How to get credits
Unemployed You are on Jobseeker’s Allowance and not in education or working more than 16 hours a week. You are not on Jobseeker’s Allowance but you are looking for work You get Class 1 credits automatically if you are on Jobseeker’s Allowance. You must claim credits at Jobcentre Plus if you are not on Jobseeker’s Allowance
Illness, disability, maternity leave You are on: Employment and Support Allowance, Unemployability Supplement or Allowance, Maternity Allowance. You are not on Employment and Support Allowance but you satisfy the conditions for the benefit You get Class 1 credits automatically if you are on: Employment and Support Allowance, Unemployability Supplement or Allowance, Maternity Allowance. You must claim credits at Jobcentre Plus if you are not on Employment and Support Allowance.
On maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay You must get one of these: Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Pay, Additional Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Sick Pay (unless you earn enough to make a ‘qualifying year’) Claim Class 1 credits. Write to: HMRC, National Insurance Contributions and Employers Office, Benton Park View, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1ZZ
Men approaching 65 You must be aged between the current women’s state pension age and 65, live in the UK at least 183 days a year and one of these must apply: you don’t work, you don’t earn enough to make the ‘qualifying year’ for the State Pension, you’re self employed and have a Small Earnings Exception certificate You get Class 1 credits automatically
Carers One of these must apply: you’re on Carer’s Allowance, you’re on Income Support and providing regular and substantial care, you’re caring for a sick or disabled person at least 20 hours a week You get Class 1 credits automatically if you’re on Carer’s Allowance or Class 3 credits if on Income Support. You must apply for Class 3 carer’s credits if you are not on Carer’s Allowance or Income Support
Parents and foster carers One of these must apply: you’re getting Child Benefit for a child under 12, you’re a foster carer or a kinship carer You get Class 3 credits automatically if you get Child Benefit. You must download form CF411A, application for parents’ credits (PDF, 56KB) to apply if you are a foster carer or kinship carer
Family member who cares for a child, usually while the parent or main carer is working All of these must apply: you are a family member aged 16 or over, you are under State Pension age, the child is under 12 You must apply for Specified Adult Childcare Class 3 credits
On a training course All of these must apply: you’re over 18, your course is government approved and lasts no longer than 1 year You get Class 1 credits automatically if you were sent on the course by Jobcentre Plus. You must claim credits if you were not sent on the course by Jobcentre Plus. Write to: HMRC, National Insurance Contributions and Employers Office, Benton Park View, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1ZZ
Universal Credit You are employed or unemployed and getting Universal Credit You get Class 3 credits automatically
Working Tax Credit You must get Working Tax Credit and have a Small Earnings Exception certificate if self-employed You get credits automatically. You get Class 1 credits if you get a disability premium, otherwise you get Class 3 credits
Partners of members in Armed Forces You must be married to or a civil partner of a member of the armed forces and going with your partner on an overseas posting Download form MODCA1, application for Class 1 credits (PDF, 80KB)
On jury service You must have attended court. If you’re self-employed, you can’t get credits Claim Class 1 credits. Write to: HMRC, National Insurance Contributions and Employers Office, Benton Park View, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1ZZ
Wrongly imprisoned Your conviction must have been quashed by the Court of Appeal (or the Court of Criminal Appeal in Scotland) Claim Class 1 credits. Write to: HMRC, National Insurance Contributions and Employers Office, Benton Park View, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1ZZ

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

National Insurance Helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3500
Textphone: 0300 200 3519
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

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