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  • Applying for a National Insurance number for a looked after child

Applying for a National Insurance number for a looked after child

Children who are being looked after by local authorities won't get a National Insurance number automatically as Child Benefit may not have been claimed for them. If you're a social worker for a 'looked after child', you should apply on their behalf.

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When to apply for a National Insurance number for a looked after child

You should apply for a National Insurance number as soon as the child reaches the age of 15 years and 9 months. This saves time and complications later on. If you delay applying until the child starts work or higher education for example, you may find you can't get a number allocated straight away or you need to complete additional paperwork.

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How to apply for a National Insurance number for a looked after child

To apply for a National Insurance number for a looked after child, you'll need to:

Step one

Register your request with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

Step two

Complete and return to HMRC form CA3530 'Application for a National Insurance number for a child looked after by a local authority'

Registering your request

Write to HMRC using local authority headed notepaper - for validation and security reasons - and for all applications include the following information:

  • child's full name
  • any previous names used
  • child's date of birth
  • date child went into care
  • child’s current address
  • your own contact details so that HMRC can contact you if they need to

If the child is a UK National, also include:

  • any previous residential addresses, for example old parental addresses and the child's last address before they were taken into care
  • a photocopy of one of the following - the child's birth certificate, Care Order or the ID page of the child's passport

If the child is an unaccompanied minor (Home Office case), also include photocopies of the child’s Home Office documents.

Send your letter and documents to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Looked after Children Team
Room BP1002
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

You may also fax your letter and documents to the Looked after Children Team on fax number 0191 225 7384.

Letters sent by fax and post are dealt with in the same timescale.

HMRC will accept only one letter per applicant.

Receiving and completing form CA3530

After HMRC has received your initial application, they'll send you form CA3530 to complete. For security reasons, you must complete and return this form to confirm the child's name and address before HMRC can issue the National Insurance number.

You must return form CA3530 to HMRC within one of month of receiving it. If you don't, you'll have to apply for the form again.

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Receiving the child's National Insurance number

Once you have returned form CA3530, HMRC will send the National Insurance number to the child at the residential address you have provided on the form.

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Contacting HMRC

You can contact the Looked after Children Team using the telephone number provided on correspondence from them. You'll need to have to hand the unique reference number for the child's case which is shown on all relevant correspondence.

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More useful links

National Insurance helplines

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