Are You Eligible For Public Funds During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

21 May 2020, 01 mins ago

If you have limited leave to enter or remain in the UK, you may have a condition attached to your leave stating that you have ‘no recourse to public funds’. If so, this means that you will not be able to claim most of the benefits that are paid by the state.

The benefits that you may not be entitled to are included in a list below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, however, and if you are in doubt you should contact the department or agency that issues these benefits, such as the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue & Customs:

  • carers allowance
  • council tax benefit
  • housing and homelessness assistance
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income related employment & support allowance – ESA (IR)
  • income support
  • personal independence payment
  • severe disablement allowance
  • social fund payment
  • state pension credit
  • universal credit
  • working tax credit

There are, however, some exceptions whereby individuals who are subject to immigration control may have access to benefits without being classed as having breached their conditions. 

You may assume that if you are currently in the UK with limited leave to enter or remain that the restrictions above will prevent you from benefiting from the Government’s current COVID-19 support schemes. 

However, some of the temporary concessions that have been introduced by the UK Government to support the UK economy during COVID-19 are also available to migrants who currently hold valid leave in the UK, provided that the individual applying meets the relevant requirements of the particular scheme. Such benefits include, but are not limited to: 

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as furlough)
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • Statutory Sick Pay 

Work-related COVID-19 measures do not fall under the definition of ‘Public Funds’ and are therefore not prohibited by the condition ‘no recourse to public funds’. 

If you have a specific question relating to the conditions of your leave and the ability to claim any of the current benefits available as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Please note that the information in this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding policy and guidance based on the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to change at short notice. We shall be monitoring all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by the coronavirus closely, so please do keep updated with further blogs and articles which we will be posting on this site.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2020

Spencer Bienvenue 

  Spencer Bienvenue

  Paralegal in our General Immigration team