Do you need to apply for National insurance Credits?

Thursday 20th July 2023

Information regarding the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and National Insurance (NI) credits in response to HMRC processing times of up to 12 months.

Pensions and Benefits affected without NI credits

Wives, husbands, or civil partners of His Majesty’s forces who are on an accompanied assignment outside the UK can apply for NI credits to prevent any gaps in NI contributions that may affect pensions or certain benefits.  You can apply up to 4 months before you return to UK.  With current HMRC processing times exceeding 12 months it is vital that you submit your claims forms as soon as possible. 

Find out if you have gaps in your National Insurance record: Check your National Insurance record (

You can find the claim form here: Application form for National Insurance credits (

Applying for Class 1 National Insurance Credits

Apply for Class 1 credits if:

  • you’re married to or the civil partner of a member of the Armed Forces
  • you went with them on an overseas posting after 6 April 2010

You can still apply if you are now widowed, divorced or have had your civil partnership dissolved. You must have been married or in a civil partnership at the time of the posting.

There is a time limit to apply for these credits – you should apply before the end of the tax year following the tax year when the posting ended. A tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April.

For example, for a posting that ended between 6 April 2021 and 5 April 2021 you should apply for Class 1 credits by 5 April 2022.

You can apply if:

  • You are still overseas but are due to return to the UK
  • You have recently returned to the UK and not passed the time limit for applying

Accessing Jobcentre Plus services

The Jobcentre Plus is an Department for Work and Pensions service that provides benefits payments. As part of the Armed Forces Covenant, DWP supports current and former Armed Forces personnel and family members – this includes having an Armed Forces Champion in every Jobcentre Plus district.

Note: We recommend if you have any DWP issues to request the support of the District Armed Forces Champion. Champions are not always based in the Jobcentre, however you can access them by via your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.

Armed Forces Champion

The Armed Forces champion provides Jobcentre Plus support to:

  • Veterans
  • Service leavers
  • Serving personnel within their resettlement period
  • Spouses and civil partners of serving and ex-service personnel

The role of the Armed Forces Champion includes:

  • To be the first point of contact for Jobcentre Plus staff and services welfare and families staff to advise on queries regarding individual Armed Forces cases – including serving personnel, families and veterans
  • Focus specifically on the Jobcentre Plus support available to veterans, service leavers, those within a resettlement period and spouses and civil partners of Serving and ex- Service personnel – where necessary and appropriate, the champions will work to put support in place

Reference Source: GOV.UK

Further information:

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