Browser does not support script.
Skip to main content
Find out how we produce our information|
State Pension| and bereavement benefits are examples of contributory state benefits. This means you build up your entitlement to claim them by paying or being credited with enough national insurance contributions.
During periods when you’re off work sick or you’re claiming state benefits because you’re ill or disabled, you usually continue to get national insurance credits. But in other situations, you may have a gap in your record if, for example:
You could choose to pay voluntary national insurance contributions to plug the gap and protect your State Pension and bereavement benefits. But working out if this is worth doing is complicated, because you can have quite large gaps without any loss of pension or benefits.
For advice on how to pay voluntary national insurance contributions and finding out whether it would be worthwhile, contact the HMRC National Insurance enquiries line on 0845 302 1479 or textphone 0845 915 3296.
The Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Bill is currently still under consideration. There will therefore be no amendments to the current benefit system in Northern Ireland until after the Welfare Reform Bill has been granted Royal Assent (expected to be June 2013). Our updated information about benefits in Northern Ireland will be available in summer 2013.
For benefits information and support in Northern Ireland please visit nidirect.gov.uk| or call 0800 232 1271.
You can also contact the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 220 674 (or textphone 0800 243 787 if you are deaf or hard of hearing).
In Northern Ireland, Macmillan Cancer Support, in partnership with Citizens Advice provides a dedicated Welfare Rights Service to cancer patients, their families and carers. For information and support or to arrange an appointment please telephone 0300 1 233 233 (lines are open 9am - 12.30pm and 1pm - 4pm Monday to Friday).
You can also call the Macmillan Support Line| on 0808 808 00 00.
Content last reviewed: 1 May 2012
Next planned review: 2013
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
To speak to a financial guide, call free (Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-4.30pm).
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you| .
You can also follow us| on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
what are these?|