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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  COVID-19: Benefit claims and administration  →  Thread

National Insurance number requirement for UC claim

vickyn
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Caseworker, Gwynedd Citizens Advice

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Hi.

Client, German national, has been working on a self employed basis but cannot work now due to C virus. Not registered with HMRC as self employed.  (sorry, don’t know how long he has been in the UK) He applied for National Insurance number last July, but has not had a reply.  Claimed UC, but told it cannot be processed without the NINO and no advance payment can be made.

I found an article in Touchsbase, Sept 19, saying he could get an advance, but UC are saying no.

Wondering if anyone knows of anything more specific in the regs or new C Virus procedures that we can quote to UC.

Thanks for your help

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Jess Strode
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Judicial Review Project | Child Poverty Action Group

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vickyn - 16 April 2020 09:16 AM

.
Client, German national, has been working on a self employed basis but cannot work now due to C virus. Not registered with HMRC as self employed.  (sorry, don’t know how long he has been in the UK) He applied for National Insurance number last July, but has not had a reply.  Claimed UC, but told it cannot be processed without the NINO and no advance payment can be made.

I found an article in Touchsbase, Sept 19, saying he could get an advance, but UC are saying no.

Wondering if anyone knows of anything more specific in the regs or new C Virus procedures that we can quote to UC.

CPAG have been made aware that there is an issue with NINos, it appears claimants are being told that NINos are not being issued during COVID-19, which would prevent UC being paid (although CPAG dispute that it is lawful not to pay UC pending provision of a NINo - see the templates here https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/judicial-review/judicial-review-pre-action-letters/national-insurance-numbers), but in fact a NINO is then issued.

Please let us know if any of your clients are affected by this, or if more generally you have clients who are being refused UC pending a NINO and we will raise it with the DWP: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thanks

[ Edited: 20 Apr 2020 at 02:41 pm by Jess Strode ]
vickyn
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Caseworker, Gwynedd Citizens Advice

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Thanks both

Client has made the claim and, as I understand it (it is a colleagues client), UC have applied for the NINO but saying no payment can be made until that has happened, not even an advance.

I will pass on the link and Jess’s offer of contacting CPAG and try to assist client to challenge it - all the more difficult when no face to face.

.

Jess Strode
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CPAG have sought clarification from DWP on the NINo requirement during COVID-19. We received a response yesterday. In short, claimants should not apply for a NINo separately before applying for UC. If they do, NINos are still being processed for benefit claimants but errors may occur. However, if CPAG contact DWP legal with claimant details where it goes wrong, they will sort it out. This claimant’s issue was resolved the same day. Feel free to get in touch if you have a client waiting for NINo (or has been unable to apply) and whose UC is delayed as a result. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

“In light of the public health emergency, there are additional challenges to making payments, even in very straightforward claims, on time due to the sheer volume of new claims. You mention in your email the reduced processing of NINOs in DWP, which enables the redeployment of staff to deal with processing benefit claims. However, there does appear to have been some misunderstanding and I can confirm that the internal process continues to support NINO allocation for benefit claimants during the pandemic.

I understand that Mr A applied on the employment route for his NINO prior to his UC application and, as you aware, we do try to discourage such applications… but in light of your correspondence we were able to process the NINO the same day.

…If you are able to provide the details of the two other cases you mention, and any others that you come across, then we will, of course, investigate and take steps to ensure the correct payments are made.”

Stuart
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In a written answer yesterday, the Employment Minister advises that following the suspension of face to face NINo interviews on 17 March -

‘DWP re-instated a limited service for customers, who do not require a face to face interview, in June. Since then the average time taken to clear an application for a NINo from the point of application is received, to decision, has been:  June - 11.4 days; July - 5.4 days; August - 4.5 days. It is not possible, due to the requirement to examine customers’ ID documents, to offer a virtual service. However, we are working on a digital solution that should enable us to restart the process incrementally from the end of September 2020.’

 

Mkfiftyeight
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Just to add to Paul’s comment, you could also point them in the direction of ADM Chapter 2, para 2147 et seq.  In particular para A2148 and the example below it. Also the ADM includes the usual references to legislatiion. So n your case number 3 is clearly applicable.  The issue of no NinO no UC does raise its head every so often, but is clearly wrong on all counts.

<https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/899276/adma2.pdf> hope this link works for you all

.
A2148
There is no entitlement to benefits unless the claim is accompanied by sufficient
information or evidence
1.  to confirm the NINO quoted belongs to the claimant and any adult affected by
the provisions
2.  to enable the NINO to be traced where the NINO is unknown
3.  to enable a NINO to be allocated where the claimant or adult does not have a
NINO and they apply for one