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Can asylum seekers claim benefits in the UK?

Asylum seekers can apply for a type of benefit called National Asylum Support Service or known as NASS, as soon as they have claimed asylum subject to a means test.

This entitles the holder to an amount of money every week to help with living expenses and travel and they could also qualify for NASS accommodation. This means that accommodation will be provided free of any charge.  However, the asylum seeker cannot choose where to live and will be dispersed to any address where there is vacant accommodation available. This may also be in another city. 

NASS will continue until the case completes. If the claim is successful then the NASS will end but the refugee can then switch over into other types of benefits like Job Seekers Allowance and housing benefit.

If the claim was unsuccessful, then NASS will stop and the person will have to vacate the NASS accommodation and be expected to leave the UK.

If a fresh claim is submitted, then the person may qualify for another type of benefit, called section 4 support which consists of an Azure Card (vouchers) for food and other limited essentials and accommodation whilst the fresh claim is pending. A failed asylum seeker may also qualify for section 4 if he/she has signed up to voluntary return but cannot be removed due to practical difficulties.

Section 4 support is only available for those with no children. Asylum seekers with children will continue to receive full support.

If you require any assistance with an asylum claim or fresh claim, then please contact our specialist team who will be able to advise you. 

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