National insurance numbers

What is a National Insurance Number?

Your National Insurance Number is unique to you and you will keep that number all of your life.

HM Revenue & Customs use it to record and credit National Insurance contributions to your National Insurance account. You will need these National Insurance contributions and credits when you come to claim benefit, whether it is for a short while, like Incapacity Benefit or long term, such as Basic State Pension.

Your National Insurance Number is personal to you.

It is your account number allocated to you for you to use in all your dealings with HM Revenue & Customs, or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

If you do not already have a National Insurance number you must apply for one as soon as you start work or you or your partner claims benefit.

It is very important for you to obtain a National Insurance Number; we at Extraman need to ensure that you have applied for one, and should you fail to obtain an NI number Extraman will not be in a position to offer you further assignments.

As a result, we require all temporary workers who do not have an NI Number to show us proof they they have begun the process within 4 weeks of their first assignment, or, if you are already working, before the end of December 2006.

However, it is very straightforward to start the application process!

How to apply

To apply for a NI number you will need to telephone the Jobcentreplus NI number allocation service helpline on 0845 600 0643.

They will make sure you need a number and arrange for you to undertake an evidence of identity interview.

You will be sent a letter confirming your appointment, and you should show us proof of this as soon as possible.

Once your interview has succesully taken place, you will be allocated an NI Number - this could take up to 6 weeks to arrive.

Once you have received your NI Number, you should let us have this as soon as possible.

Information about the interview

 ‘Evidence of identity' interview - 

The interview will usually be one-to-one (unless, for example, you need an interpreter). The interviewer will ask you questions about your background and circumstances. The interviewer may also ask you to fill in an application form.

 If you don't have any official documents -

If you haven't got any official documents you still have to go to the interview. You might be able to prove your identity with the information you give at the interview.

The National Insurance number card -

A plastic National Insurance number card is issued automatically when you first apply for a number or if you change your name on marriage.

It is meant to be a reminder of your number and nothing else. It does not provide proof of your identity and should not be used as such.

If you live in the United Kingdom but have no permanent address you will be able to collect your card from the Social Security office about 8 weeks after your application is made.

Take good care of your card. You will only be sent one replacement if you lose it.