Date Published: 08.07.2022
Status: Past
Type: Co-ordination of social security system
Outcome: No further action

National Insurance Number – share codes

No Further Action Decision

The IMA received information regarding EU and EEA EFTA citizens experiencing issues with European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) share codes expiring when waiting for a National Insurance Number (NINo) application to be processed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The issue appeared to relate to difficulties experienced by citizens caused by the time limit of 30 days for the validity of share codes and the DWP’s processing times for NINo applications exceeding this time. This delay was resulting in applications reportedly being refused due to share codes being invalid by the time the applications were processed.

The IMA understands from the DWP that it has since put in place measures to mitigate this issue.

Summary of Actions and Evidence

Having carefully considered the issues identified in the information received pre-inquiry investigations were conducted into DWP processes to seek clarification.

DWP advised that they were aware of the issues raised by the IMA and had proactively invoked a recovery plan to mitigate the risk of an EUSS share code expiring in NINo applications.

DWP have confirmed to the IMA that they are proactively identifying and separating applications that include a share code. The share code is then checked and validated to prevent it from expiring and the application is then processed alongside other applications in order of the date in which they were received.

In addition, DWP have confirmed that, from the 17th February 2022, the validity of share code has been extended so that the expiry date is now 90 days rather than 30 days. The DWP has informed the IMA that this, combined with the processes they have put in place above, has resulted in DWP being confident any issues faced by citizens have been alleviated.

No complaints have been received by the IMA in relation to this issue.

Summary of Decision

Following the assurances provided by the DWP, together with the increase in time for share code expiry from 30 to 90 days, the IMA considers that it would not be proportionate or reasonable to continue to explore this issue further by way of Inquiry at this time. Should the IMA receive any further information or complaints about this or related issues, these will be considered on their own merits and in line with IMA’s internal processes. The IMA would encourage affected citizens to continue to report any issues whether related to this issue or otherwise.

For the avoidance of doubt, this resolution would not preclude the IMA from acting further should matters of concern in relation to this issue arise again in the future. The IMA would encourage affected citizens to continue to report any issues whether related to this issue or otherwise.

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The complaints submitted to us help build a picture of where there are common, wide-reaching, or systemic issues with how UK public bodies are implementing the Withdrawal Agreement(s) for EU and EEA EFTA citizens’ rights.