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Accessing benefits and a National Insurance (NI) number

In the UK, as a refugee, there is a welfare system to help people with financial (money) support, if needed. your local job centre will be able to advise you about which benefits you may be entitled to. These may include one or more of the following:

  • Universal Credit – a payment for those of working age, to help with your living costs if you’re on a low income. You could be working (including self employed or part time) or be out of work;
  • Pension Credit – extra money to help with your living costs if you are over the age of 66 and on a low income. Applications for Pensions is online or via telephone Disability benefits – extra money to help with additional costs if you have a long term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • Carer’s Allowance – extra money if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week.
  • Child Benefit – extra money to help with the cost of raising a child.

In Winchester the local JobCentre Plus address is: 

City Gate
1-8 City Rd
SO23 8GA
United Kingdom

Telephone: 0800 169 0190
Textphone: 0845 608 8551

If you need help or support with applying for Universal Credit there are two main ways to get help with your Universal Credit claim. You can either call the Universal Credit helpline or use the Help to Claim service. Calls to the Universal Credit helpline are free – Telephone: 0800 328 5644

The Help to Claim service is provided by Citizens Advice and is confidential. They will not share your personal information unless you agree. For further information, see here 

In Winchester, there are two local Citizen’s Advice services one in Winchester centre and one in Bishop’s Waltham. You can get advice over the phone, in person, online or via email. See here for more information.

Citizen’s Advice Winchester

City Offices,

Colebrook Street,



SO23 9LJ

See map here 

Citizen’s Advice Bishop Waltham

Well House

2 Brook Street

SO32 1AX

See map here 

Universal credit

Turn2us can assist with a range of support including help to check your benefit entitlement using their free and confidential benefit calculator.

What is a National Insurance (NI) number? 

Your National Insurance number is made up of letters and numbers. It never changes.

You will receive a National Insurance number to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only.

You can find your National Insurance number:

  • on your payslip
  • on your P60 (A P60 form is a statement or certificate showing how much you have earned, and the amount of tax you have paid in the last tax year)
  • on letters about your tax, pension or benefits
  • in the National Insurance section of your personal tax account

How do I get a National Insurance number?

You can apply for a National Insurance number here

If you need help with applying for a National Insurance number you can call the National Insurance number application helpline (England, Scotland and Wales)
Telephone: 0800 141 2079
Textphone: 0800 141 2438
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

If a problem with your national insurance is affecting your benefits then contact your local Citizen’s Advice for guidance and support. See the contact details above, also available here 

I have received my National Insurance number but lost it. What do I do?

If you receive a National Insurance number but have lost it, don’t worry, you can also check where to find your National Insurance number at GOV.UK.

If you are an asylum seeker and in need of financial support or accommodation, you may be entitled to asylum support, see here for more information.

You can get help to make you asylum support application by contacting:

Asylum Support Application UK
Telephone: 0808 801 0503
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
(24-hour service for emergencies)
Find out about call charges

Many charities also offer support to people to assist them in making asylum support applications.