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17 September, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that it is working on a digital method of examining ID documents for National Insurance number applications

Employment Minister says this should enable allocation process to restart incrementally from the end of September 2020

The DWP has confirmed that it is working on a digital method of examining ID documents so that it can restart its National Insurance number application process in full.

Responding to a written question yesterday in parliament on what recent assessment has made of trends in the time taken to issue National Insurance numbers to applicants, Employment Minister Mims Davies said -

'Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and in line with government guidelines, the face to face interview process was suspended from 17 March 2020. The resource normally deployed in this area were redeployed to process the substantial number of benefit claims received during this period

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 National Insurance number from the point of application is received, to decision, has been: June - 11.4 days, July - 5.4 days. August - 4.5 days.'

In addition, Ms Davies advises that -

'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.’

Ms Davies’ written answer is available from