unclaimed benefits and national insurance contributions

A relative of mine was unable to work for the last couple of years due to illness. He was very unwell (now disabled but stable) and while seeking diagnosis (it took a long time) he did not claim the benefits he would have been entitled to (he was being signed off work by his GP). If he had claimed those benefits, he would have been entitled to national insurance credits. I am now trying to help him navigate his current financial situation and get things in order.

Is there any mechanism for him to receive the national insurance credits he would have been entitled to if he had claimed benefits during those years? I understand that the benefits he would have been entitled to are impossible to claim retrospectively, but is there any mechanism for past national insurance credits?

Comments

  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,214
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    If you are talking about credits that would enhance his state pension then yes, he can buy those if required.  First step is to get him to get a pension forecast via the gov.uk website.  Then it's a case of paying for each individual year or part year to get it to count towards the pension.  As I recall my OH was short of a year which cost about £220 (I think) to purchase.  So the question is - would that give enough of a boost over the expected lifespan of the individual to make it worthwhile.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • thurn
    thurn Posts: 4
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    thank you - yes he is considering his likely prognosis in this context too (is it going to be worth his while to plug the gaps) some tough conversations. We know he can pay for the missing years, but we are trying to establish whether there is a mechanism for him to claim for the national insurance credits he would have been awarded for those years if he had claimed the benefits he was entitled to. 
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,140
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    Just to check, which benefit(s) are you referring to? 

    You say he was signed off sick; there's a chance he could have been credited with NI credits anyway depending on what he was receiving.  (And if he was receiving SSP or more than a certain amount, he would not have been entitled to ESA, and eligibility to UC depends on his circumstances and how much income he had.)

    None of this makes any material difference, but just for peace of mind - if he wasn't actually entitled to anything that credits NI, or wasn't entitled for the first however many months, it might be good to know if he's not lost out on as much as he thought.

    Has he checked his NI record?  If not, here https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record
  • thurn
    thurn Posts: 4
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    Thank you I believe he received SSP for a time (and would later have been eligible for - unclaimed - UC). He has checked his national insurance record and seems to be missing a couple of years.
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,573
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    thurn said:
    Thank you I believe he received SSP for a time (and would later have been eligible for - unclaimed - UC). He has checked his national insurance record and seems to be missing a couple of years.
    Before you go to a lot of trouble, have you/he checked his State Pension Forecast to establish if those couple of years are going to make any difference ? The number of years required to reach a full state pension or more varies greatly for those of us born prior to 2000 and therefore under transitional rules - anything from 29 to 45+ - so missing a couple of years may or may not be significant. 
    Check your State Pension forecast - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,140
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    At the top of the NI record page it would tell him how many more full years he needs for a full pension, and how many years he has before pension age.  If he can still get enough full years with the time left between now and pension age then there would be nothing to worry about.

    The class 3 credits from UC or bought voluntarily only count towards State Pension, nothing else.
  • thurn
    thurn Posts: 4
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    Thank you - I'll have a look at the pension forecast with him tomorrow. 
  • Bigwheels1111
    Bigwheels1111 Posts: 2,236
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    Missing a year or two could be beneficial depending on circumstances.
    Council tenants or housing associations tenants get cheaper rent sort of if they get pension credit.
    Council tax is less, water bills, Tv license at 75.
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