Home Money My disability benefit has not protected my NI record and I am missing 18 years due to missing credits – STEVE WEBB answers

My disability benefit has not protected my NI record and I am missing 18 years due to missing credits – STEVE WEBB answers

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State pension error: HMRC referred me to the DWP's International Pensions Centre, which told me to call the Job Center in Annan, Scotland, about my missing NI credits.

State pension error: HMRC referred me to the DWP’s International Pensions Centre, which told me to call the Job Center in Annan, Scotland, about my missing NI credits.

I’m desperate trying to figure this out. I’m almost 72 years old and the stress is incredible.

I (finally) received a letter from HMRC saying that there is an 18 year gap in my NI record, from 1995 (when I was receiving disability benefit as it was then called) to my state pension age of 62 in 2014. .

Throughout these 18 years I was receiving IB, which became disability benefit because I suffered a total collapse of my mental health and could no longer work.

The NI credits for these 18 years were never charged to my account, so my state pension is low.

The letter from HMRC told me to contact the International Pension Centre, which I did, and I received a reply saying I needed to contact the Employment Center in Annan, Scotland, where I lived for a while.

I contacted the Jobcenter and they had no idea what I’m talking about. It doesn’t really surprise me, since it’s been 29 years now. They couldn’t even display my details on their screen using my NI number.

They told me to wait and then they cut me off (this is after waiting 45 minutes to get through).

The options when calling them do not include a category for my question, so it was a matter of luck to be able to speak to someone.

I’ve read on This is Money that it is HMRC’s responsibility to keep NI records for disabled people (and others) but they say it isn’t.

Is there ANY possible way you can help/advise me or tell me what I should do now?

This has been going on for over 12 months and the stress and worry is unbearable at times.

I also think maybe this is another “can of worms” where people lose their pension. I already lost due to the change in the age at which the state pension is paid (mine was 62 instead of 60).

I wonder how many other disabled people are losing and haven’t asked themselves yet because they are in such poor condition.

I know you are incredibly busy, but if you could advise me further in any way I would greatly appreciate it. My income is low so I need everything to survive.

Thank you in advance for everything you do to help people.


Steve Webb responds: I was very concerned when I read about the problems you have had sorting out your National Insurance file.

I suspect there are many people in the same situation as you and I hope this column encourages more people to check that their NI record is accurate for their benefit periods.

By way of background, people who cannot work (for example because they are unemployed or ill) can obtain “credits” to protect their National Insurance record.

These credits should be awarded automatically if you received one of the following benefits (a more complete list and explanation of the rules can be found at: National Insurance Credits: Eligibility).

Do you have a question for Steve Webb? Scroll down to find out how to contact you.

Do you have a question for Steve Webb? Scroll down to find out how to contact you.

– Jobseeker Allowance (JSA)

– Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

– Disability Benefit / Disability Benefit

– Maternity allowance

– Caregiver allowance

– Universal Credit

– Work tax credits (in certain circumstances)

When the system is working correctly, DWP must notify HM Revenue and Customs that someone has invested a year in a relevant benefit and HMRC must record this as a year of credits on their NI record.

When you retire, DWP uses HMRC records to calculate your State Pension entitlement.

Unfortunately, when something goes wrong, it can be very difficult to get someone to take responsibility.

Although your NI record was incorrect, this may be because DWP did not notify HMRC that you received benefits all these years.

You have suggested that things might have gone wrong when you were moved from disability benefit to disability benefit in the 1990s.

If so, correcting it is the responsibility of the DWP. But it’s ridiculous to suggest that you should somehow ask the Jobcenter where you lived several decades ago for help with this, especially as you now live outside the UK.

When I contacted DWP on his behalf, they admitted there was an error here and notified HMRC that his NI record needed to be updated.

You told me you were “shocked and in disbelief” when you received this news, as you had largely given up.

The DWP has since recalculated his state pension. He has received arrears of around £7,000 and his weekly state pension has increased from £201 to £218.

An interesting thing to note is that the time you have been receiving certain benefits since 2002 not only counts towards your basic state pension, but also entitles you to the Second State Pension.

This means that even people who receive a full basic state pension should check their NI record because they may be missing out on an additional state pension.

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Anyone who wants to check their National Insurance record can do so via the HMRC website. Check your National Insurance record or the DWP Check State Pension place.

If you were receiving one of the benefits listed above for a whole financial year, that year should appear as a full “qualifying year” for your state pension. If not, you should contact DWP and ask them to notify HMRC of the error.

Last year, This is Money helped highlight the fact that potentially millions of people on Universal Credit had gaps in their NI record because the credits were not recorded correctly.

DWP says it is addressing that issue and downplays it on the basis that many people receiving Universal Credit have not yet reached retirement age.

But in his case, he has been retired for a decade and we are talking about mistakes that date back to the 90s. In this situation it is urgent to correct the mistakes and I am glad that it has finally been done.

When I asked DWP for comment, a spokesperson said: “Your reader has been informed of his increase in state pension and has been issued with arrears of £7,095.46 covering the period 6 March 2014 to 1 May 2024. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.”

For other readers, we’d be interested to know if you find any gaps in your record for specific benefit periods and how you get on when you raise this with the DWP.

Are NI credits missing from your state pension record?

Check your NI registrationand you state pension provision if you have not yet reached state pension age.

If you think credits are missing, here are the relevant contact details.

DWP’s future pension center (if you are not of state pension age)

DWP Pension Service (if you already receive a state pension)

Please also write to This is Money and tell us your story: pensionquestions@thisismoney.co.uk.

Put CREDITS NOR in the subject line and include which years you believe are incorrect on your NI record and why you should have received credits.

Unfortunately, we cannot respond to everyone and if you do not receive a satisfactory response from the DWP, you can contact your MP and ask them to intervene.

Find your Local MP and their contact details here. Steve Webb, former MP and Pensions Minister, offers advice on how to get help from MPs here – scroll down to the third box in the story.

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Ask Steve Webb a question about pensions

Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb is This Is Money’s agony uncle.

He’s ready to answer your questions, whether you’re still saving, in the process of leaving work, or juggling your finances in retirement.

Steve left the Department for Work and Pensions after the May 2015 election. He is now a partner at actuarial and consultancy firm Lane Clark & ​​Peacock.

If you would like to ask Steve a question about pensions, email him at pensionquestions@thisismoney.co.uk.

Steve will do his best to respond to your message in a future column, but will not be able to respond to everyone or correspond privately with readers. Nothing in his answers constitutes regulated financial advice. Posted questions are sometimes edited for brevity or other reasons.

Please include a daytime contact number with your message; This will be kept confidential and will not be used for marketing purposes.

If Steve can’t answer your question, you can also contact MoneyHelper, a government-backed organization that provides free pensions support to the public. can be found here and its number is 0800 011 3797.

steveWe receive many questions about state pension forecasts and COPE (the outsourced pension equivalent). If you write to Steve about this topic, he answers a typical reader question about COPE and the state pension here.

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