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Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999


Although a national insurance number is currently not legally required for a claim to Child Benefit, it is requested. In practice, approximately 95%-97% of new claimants do provide national insurance numbers.

The requirement to supply a national insurance number and supporting evidence was introduced to help secure the benefits system against abuse. In addition, national insurance numbers are essential for the efficient processing of benefit claims on the computer systems used by the DSS. For example, the use of a national insurance number enables the Child Benefit system to relay details of a claim to the National Insurance Recording System, which stores people’s contributions records. This ensures the accurate assessment of Home Responsibility Protection (HRP) which safeguards the pension entitlement of those who are unable to work due to caring responsibilities.

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Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


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