National Insurance

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Luna23
Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
I've tried to claim contribution based ESA. I've been self employed for many years and I know the test is were NI contributions paid in the last 2 years. I've no reason to think they wouldn't have been and was receiving working tax credits the whole time. 

But today ESA have written to me and said I can't claim because I didn't pay NI. I don't know if HMRC haven't recorded it or what.

I'm so tired I just can't fight this particular one yet but wondered what the advice is? MR or just let it go and claim it all through UC? Thanks

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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,304 Championing
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    Claiming tax credits will have nothing to do with your NI record. If you were self employed you will have needed to pay class 2 NI contributions yourself. They are not automatically paid when self employed.
  • Luna23
    Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
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    Ah right, thanks Poppy. I'll have to check what I did then
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,304 Championing
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    You can check your NI record here. https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record you will need class 2 as self employed. The years they look at for a claim now will be 2020/21 and 2021/22. Were you self employed at anytime during those years?

  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,005 Championing
    edited June 2023
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    If you haven't paid NI in 2020/21 and 2021/22 and you were self employed in those years you can paid voluntary Class 2 NI contributions to fill any shortfall to made those years paid up. Class 2 NI is very cheap (it's about £170/year). After the payments are made to HMRC you become eligible for new style ESA six weeks later.
    Luna23 said:
    .. just let it go and claim it all through UC? 
    However, if you are claiming UC anyway, then getting ESA too will not increase your income because the ESA will be deducted from the UC. You will only benefit financially if the maximum UC entitlement will less than ESA would be.
  • Luna23
    Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
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    That's good to know, thank you :)