Find out what benefits you might be eligible for as a result of your contributions to the National Insurance programme.

How does your National Insurance Contribution affect the advantages you receive?



When you make payments into your National Insurance account, you are able to increase the amount of ‘contributory benefits’ that you are eligible to receive.

These are the following:

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are two types of benefits that are offered to unemployed individuals (ESA)
If you are not eligible for statutory maternity pay, you may be entitled to maternity allowance instead.
Bereavement benefits (including Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment, and Widowed Parent’s Allowance) Incapacity Benefit, if you risk long-term unemployment due to illness or disability. Widowed Parent’s Allowance, if you are a widowed parent.

Some benefits are contingent on the amount of contributions made to a particular category of National Insurance. If you haven’t been paying employee-based National Insurance contributions, for instance, you won’t be eligible for the contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit that the government offers.

How payments for jobseeker’s allowance are affected by national insurance (JSA)

The amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) that you are eligible to receive is determined by the total amount of National Insurance contributions that you have paid in throughout the time that you have been jobless and seeking for work.

In order to be eligible for any kind of JSA, you must first satisfy the prerequisite conditions, which are as follows:

be over the age of 18 and not working full-time to qualify (less than 16 hours a week)
individuals who are not enrolled in full-time educational programmes and who are not receiving income support and who are looking for job.

You can become eligible for either the contribution-based or the new-style version of the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you make National Insurance contributions.

You could have to submit an application for the income-based JSA instead of them if you don’t make the necessary National Insurance contributions required for them.

You can read more about each type in the following paragraphs.

JSA that is based on contributions



If you have paid or been credited with the minimum amount of National Insurance contributions within the past two financial years, you should be eligible for contribution-based JSA. This eligibility is determined by how much you have paid into your National Insurance account.

You are only eligible for contribution-based JSA if you have paid sufficient employee National Insurance contributions (Class 1), which typically means over the course of the two tax years prior to the benefit year you are claiming in. If you do not meet this requirement, you will not be eligible for contribution-based JSA. It is important to note that if you are self-employed and make Class 2 or Class 4 contributions, you will not be eligible for this benefit.

Because the benefit year starts on the first Sunday of each month, which can be confusing, the time period for which you qualified may have passed more quickly than you realise. For instance, if you made a claim on June 15, 2021, you will need to have contributed a enough amount to national insurance during the 2018-19 tax year as well as the 2019-20 tax year.

The duration of this particular type of unemployment benefit might be up to six months.

If you are eligible for this kind of Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), claiming it is likely to be the best choice you can make because your savings, capital, and your partner’s income won’t have any impact on your right to claim.

However, you are not eligible to make a claim for this kind of Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) if any of the following conditions are met: (1) you have not made the minimum contributions to National Insurance; (2) you have made a claim for it within the past two years; or (3) you are eligible for Universal Credit.

New-style JSA

If you are eligible to apply for Universal Credit and have made the minimum contributions required for National Insurance, you are required to apply for new-style JSA rather than contribution-based JSA. Contribution-based JSA was phased out in April 2013.

It lasts for the same amount of time as the contribution-based JSA does and pays the same amount of money.

You have the option of applying for this in addition to Universal Credit, or you can do it on its own. If you are eligible for both programmes, the value of your Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) will be removed from your Universal Credit, which means that you will not end up any better off financially.

a JSA payment that is depending on income.

You might have to submit an application for income-based JSA if you don’t meet the requirements for the new-style JSA or the contribution-based JSA.

In order to be eligible, the total value of your assets, including savings or cash assets, as well as those of your partner, cannot exceed £16,000. Additionally, you are not permitted to apply for Income Support, an income-related ESA, or Pension Credit all at the same time.

Benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance in addition to National Insurance (ESA)

You might be eligible for Employment and Support allowance if you suffer from a chronic illness or a disability. You can qualify for contribution-based ESA or the new style ESA if you are in a full-service Universal Credit region. The rules for qualifying are generally the same as those for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

It is not possible to collect both the ESA and the JSA at the same time, nor can you do so if you are already eligible for the state pension.

To be eligible for the updated version of the ESA, applicants will need to demonstrate that they are qualified to receive Universal Credit.

Benefit modifications for the ESA and JSA



The income-based and contribution-based JSA and ESA that are dependent on your National Insurance contributions are being phased away as Universal Credit is gradually rolled out across the country. These benefits are going to be phased out and replaced by updated versions of the JSA and ESA.

People who reside in locations that provide full-service for Universal Credit will be subject to the alterations as they are implemented concurrently with Universal Credit.

In addition, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, and Working Tax Credit will all be replaced by Universal Credit.

Learn more about it by reading this: what is the Universal Credit?

Bereavement assistance payment privileges accorded to those with National Insurance

Bereavement allowance, widow’s pension, bereaved payment, and widowed parent’s allowance have all been consolidated into one payment known as the bereavement support payment.

If your husband or civil partner passed away within the previous 21 months, you may be eligible to receive Bereavement Support Payments; but, in order to collect the entire amount, you must make your claim within three months of their passing.

To be eligible, your partner must:

having paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year since April 6, 1975 have died as a result of an accident or disease caused by work have been eligible for benefits under the National Insurance Act

You have to have been the following when they passed away:

under the age of state pension eligibility and residing in the United Kingdom or another country that provides bereavement benefits.

You cannot claim bereavement support while you’re in prison.

You will initially receive either £3,500 or £2,500, and then up to 18 additional monthly payments of either £350 or £100, depending on which option you choose. If you have children, you are eligible for a greater rate of child benefit. If you do not make a claim for child benefit, you will receive the lesser rate; the only exception to this is if you were pregnant at the time your partner passed away.

After the initial payment, the payments won’t have any impact on any other benefits you receive for the following year. After this period, the payments may have an effect on the total amount of other benefits you are entitled to receive. You are obligated to notify the office that handles your benefits as soon as you begin receiving the bereavement support payment.

The official advice from the government provides additional information on how to file a claim.

If your spouse or civil partner passed away before April 6th, 2017, you may be eligible for widowed parent’s allowance instead of funeral expenses.