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national insurance

A scheme of state-administered social security benefits (e.g. unemployment and sickness benefit and old age pensions). These were inaugurated by the National Insurance Act 1946 and are now given effect by the Social Security Acts 1975 and 1986. A separate industrial injuries insurance scheme was established by the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act 1946, but the 1975 and 1986 Acts now govern the payment of *industrial injuries benefits also. Compare *income support.

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