2. Eligibility

These tables show if you might be eligible for National Insurance credits, eg if you’re on Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit or Carer’s Allowance.

You need to wait until the tax year is over before you can apply for credits for that tax year.

Looking for work

Your situation How to get credits
You’re on Jobseeker’s Allowance and not in education or working 16 hours or more a week You get Class 1 credits automatically
You’re unemployed and looking for work, but not on Jobseeker’s Allowance Contact your local Jobcentre to claim Class 1 credits

Ill, disabled or on sick pay

Your situation How to get credits
You’re on Employment and Support Allowance, or Unemployability Supplement or Allowance You get Class 1 credits automatically
You’re not on Employment and Support Allowance but you satisfy the conditions for it Contact your local Jobcentre to claim Class 1 credits
You’re on Statutory Sick Pay and you don’t earn enough to make a qualifying year Apply for Class 1 credits. Write to: National Insurance contributions and Employers Office, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AN. Include your National Insurance number and say when the credits are for and why you’re eligible

On maternity, paternity or adoption pay

Your situation How to get credits
You’re on Maternity Allowance You get Class 1 credits automatically
You’re on Statutory Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Pay, or Additional Statutory Paternity Pay, and you don’t earn enough to make a qualifying year Apply for Class 1 credits. Write to: National Insurance contributions and Employers Office, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AN. Include your National Insurance number and say when the credits are for and why you’re eligible

Parents and foster carers

Your situation How to get credits
You’re a parent registered for Child Benefit for a child under 12 (even if you don’t receive it) You get Class 3 credits automatically
You’re a parent who got Child Benefit for a child under 16 between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 2010, but you didn’t get Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) automatically Claim HRP to get Class 3 credits
You want to transfer credits from a spouse or partner who got Child Benefit for a child under 12 - between 6 April 2010 and now Apply to transfer Class 3 credits between parents
You want to transfer credits from a spouse or partner who got Child Benefit for a child under 16 - before 6 April 2010 Apply to transfer HRP between parents to get Class 3 credits
You’re a foster carer, or a kinship carer in Scotland - between 6 April 2010 and now Apply for Class 3 credits
You were a foster carer, or a kinship carer in Scotland, between 6 April 2003 and 5 April 2010 Claim HRP to get Class 3 credits

Carers

Your situation How to get credits
You’re on Carer’s Allowance You get Class 1 credits automatically
You’re on Income Support and providing regular and substantial care You get Class 3 credits automatically
You’re caring for one or more sick or disabled person for at least 20 hours a week Apply for Class 3 carer’s credits if you’re not on Carer’s Allowance or Income Support

Family members who care for a child

Your situation How to get credits
You’re a family member over 16 but under State Pension age and you’re caring for a child under 12 (usually while the parent or main carer is working) Apply for Specified Adult Childcare Class 3 credits

On Working Tax Credit

Your situation How to get credits
You get Working Tax Credit with a disability premium (and you have a small earnings exception if you’re self-employed) You get Class 1 credits automatically
You get Working Tax Credit without a disability premium (and you have a small earnings exception if you’re self-employed) You get Class 3 credits automatically

On Universal Credit

Your situation How to get credits
You’re getting Universal Credit You get Class 3 credits automatically

Men approaching 65

Your situation How to get credits
You’re between the current women’s State Pension age and 65, live in the UK at least 183 days a year and you’re in one of these situations: you don’t work, you don’t earn enough to make a qualifying year, or you’re self-employed with a small earnings exception You get Class 1 credits automatically

On a training course

Your situation How to get credits
You’re over 18 and Jobcentre Plus sent you on a government-approved training course that lasts no longer than 1 year You get Class 1 credits automatically
You’re over 18 and on a government-approved training course that lasts no longer than 1 year but you weren’t sent by Jobcentre Plus Apply for Class 1 credits. Write to: National Insurance contributions and Employers Office, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AN. Include your National Insurance number and say when the credits are for and why you’re eligible

On jury service

Your situation How to get credits
You’ve attended court and you’re not self-employed Apply for Class 1 credits. Write to: National Insurance contributions and Employers Office, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AN. Include your National Insurance number and say when the credits are for and why you’re eligible

Partners of people in armed forces

Your situation How to get credits
You’re married to or a civil partner of a member of the armed forces and went with your partner on an overseas posting after 6 April 2010 Apply for Class 1 credits

Wrongly imprisoned

Your situation How to get credits
Your conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal (or the Court of Criminal Appeal in Scotland) Apply for Class 1 credits. Write to: National Insurance contributions and Employers Office, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AN. Include your National Insurance number and say when the credits are for and why you’re eligible

Who can’t get credits

You can’t usually get credits if you’re: