How to claim benefit

The government has a range of benefits to provide opportunities and support. These are handled by various departments and agencies. If you are entitled to any of these benefits, you will need to claim them from the right place.

The different types of benefit

Benefits are available for people of working age, for pensioners, for families and children, and for people with disabilities and their carers. Each of these areas is handled by different departments or parts of departments. Making a claim from the right area will make sure you get your benefit as quickly as possible.

Benefits are divided into four groups:

  • benefits for people of working age
  • benefits for people who have retired or who are planning to retire
  • benefits for families and children
  • benefits for people with disabilities and carers

Benefits for people of working age

If you are looking for work (or are in low paid work) you can get financial help and support from Jobs and Benefits offices and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Benefits for people of pensionable age

Many people of pensionable age are entitled to a basic State Pension and other benefits such as Pension Credit. These are administered by The Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

Benefits for families and children

Everyone who has a child is entitled to claim Child Benefit. Additional support is available for families who have particular requirements, such as children with special needs, lone parent families, expecting a baby and so on.

This help is provided by different sections of the Department for Communities and HMRC. Your nearest Jobs and Benefits office will help you find the right department to answer any questions you may have.

Benefits for people with disabilities and carers

There is a range of local and central government support available for people who are sick, or who have disabilities, and for the people who care for them. The support tends to vary according to the nature of illness or disability.

For example, whether it is long-term, whether you were in work when you became ill or disabled, and whether the illness involves a stay in hospital or a care home.

Proving your identity

If you are claiming benefits you must be able to prove your identity. This is to make sure benefits are paid to the right people at the right time.

Below are some of the documents you can use to help prove your identity. Photocopies can't usually be accepted.

  • formal identification documents, for example valid passport, birth certificate, UK driving licence or Home Office document
  • work documents, for example a letter from your employer or a contract of employment
  • financial documents, for example payslips or invoices
  • education documents, for example a student ID card or student loan documents
  • other documents, for example mortgage or rental agreement, utility bill

Who to ask about your benefit

Your nearest Jobs and Benefits office will help you with any questions you have about your benefits situation.

Contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre to discuss your state retirement pension. For information on benefits administered by HMRC, such as tax credits, contact your local Tax Office.

More useful links

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What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.