National Insurance: Could you be denied benefits due to your NI record? How to check | Personal Finance | Finance


Better known as contributory benefits, claimants can be outrightly denied if they don’t have enough National Insurance contributions even if they meet every other criteria. Here’s which benefits to look out for and just what you need National Insurance wise to claim it.

Benefits can generally be separated into three distinct groups depending on how they are awarded: means-tested, non means-tested and contributory. 

Contributory benefits specifically help to aid Britons who face an unexpected or prolonged absence from work and will therefore not be able to earn their normal salary. 

However, not everyone will be eligible for the benefit if they don’t have enough National Insurance contributions of specific classes. 

Each benefit still has individual eligibility criteria and claiming procedures that claimants will need to follow aside from having the mandatory contributions needed to obtain the benefit. 

Contributory benefits include:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance – if they don’t qualify for statutory maternity pay
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Bereavement Payment
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit – if they are facing long-term unemployment due to an illness or disability.


Unemployment benefits

Jobseeker’s Allowance applies to those that are unemployed and looking for work where the amount of money they will receive depends on their contributions.

Claimants should be eligible if they have paid, or been credited, with the minimum National Insurance contributions in the last two financial years.

Class two or four contributions will not enable one to claim the benefit.

For those that don’t qualify for contribution based Jobseeker’s Allowance they may be eligible for income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Claimants can receive a maximum of £122.55 per week if they are over the age of 55 but below state pension age. 

Bereavement Support Payment offers up to £3,500 for those whose spouses or civil partners died after April 7, 2017.

In order to qualify, their partner must have paid at least 25 weeks worth of National Insurance contributions and died due to a work-related illness or accident. 

Those looking to receive bereavement related benefits in general will not be able to qualify if they were divorced from their partner, if they are now living with someone else as a spouse or civil partner or if they are in prison. 

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