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A National Insurance number is provided to all UK residents, usually at the age of 16. If you work in the UK, or need to apply for benefits or tax credits you will rquire a National Insurance number. Your National Insurance number is unique and should be kept secure as this is used to record National Insurance Contributions made by you.

If you are resident in the United Kingdom and your parents are receiving Child Benefit for you, a National Insurance number will automatically be sent out to you just before you are 16 years old. You would have received a National Insurance card previously but government changes mean that you will receive a letter through the post with your own personal National Insurance number displayed. If you don’t receive a National Insurance number, you will need to apply for one if you intend to claim benefits, work or become self employed.

If you apply for a National Insurance number you may be sent an application through the post or may be invited to an interview. Documentary evidence will be required to prove your identity and you will be asked why you require a National Insurance number. If your application is successful with jobcentre Plus you will be sent the National Insurance letter through the post. If you have previously received a National Insurance number and have lost it, you will find it on a form P60 or form P45, or any official paperwork from HM Revenue & Customs.

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