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National Insurance: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 117943, tabled on 19 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what alternative arrangements are in place for people seeking to apply for a national insurance number during the period of suspension of face-to-face interviews during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

24 November 2020

DWP are responsible for the allocation of National Insurance Numbers to residents living in England, Scotland and Wales. The Department for Communities is responsible to the residents of Northern Ireland.

In order for a National Insurance Number (NINo) to be allocated an individual’s identity needs to have been verified.

DWP have continued to allocate NINos to those who require one for benefit purposes and for those who are entitled to Student Finance. DWP have also continued to work with the Home office to provide a NINo allocation services for Tier 2 visa holders and Refugees and their adult dependants.

In England, Scotland and Wales, DWP are offering a NINo allocation service to foreign nationals who have already had their identity verified as part of their visa application before they entered the UK. This is done through a data sharing agreement with the Home Office.

DWP started testing a partial digital solution, on a small scale, in mid-October, to support the issuing of National Insurance Numbers, which is still ongoing. This solution enables collection of the applicant’s data, but not the online verification of their identity. Alternative identity verification solutions to reduce the need for a face to face identity check for some customer groups is under development as part of this test.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.