Claiming benefits if you have no recourse to public funds
You need to meet immigration conditions to get universal credit and most benefits.
But you could still get some support.
Help for children
If you’re under 18 and have no family in the UK, social services must help you.
If you're a family with children, social services may help you with money for things like:
travel to work or school
They can also refer you to a food bank or other charities.
Social services help for families with children is sometimes called section 17 support.
Project 17 charity has a guide for families on section 17 support.
If you're experiencing domestic abuse
The Home Office can let you claim benefits for 3 months if:
you came to the UK to be with your partner
your partner is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain
your relationship has broken down because of domestic abuse
you have no money to support yourself
Some refuges have spaces for women who cannot get benefits because of immigration conditions.
When only one partner can claim benefits
Get specialist help from Citizens Advice if you:
have been told you have to submit a joint claim for universal credit
are a joint tenant looking into claiming benefits to help with your rent
are worried your partner's claim will affect your immigration status
Find out more about claiming benefits in this situation:
You can apply for asylum support if you have:
made an asylum claim in the UK
no money or nowhere to stay while the Home Office looks at your asylum application
You can get £40.85 a week for each person in your family. This is for food, toiletries and essential travel.
You can get extra weekly payments if you're pregnant or have a child under 3.
You can also apply for a one-off maternity payment of £300 if you have a baby due in 8 weeks or have a baby under 6 weeks.
Call Migrant Help on 0808 8010 503
Their free asylum helpline is open 24 hours a day. They also have a webchat service.
You can ask for an interpreter if you need one.
Keep trying if you do not get through first time.
Where to get immigration advice
Speak to an immigration adviser if you:
have no immigration status
are worried about your immigration status
want to change your immigration status, for example remove the NRPF condition
Last updated: 28 March 2022