Does A Residence Permit Enable You To Claim Public Funds In The UK?

24 Apr 2019, 03 mins ago

Practitioners are often asked whether those with leave to remain in the UK can claim public funds. Almost all categories of leave to remain are granted on condition that the applicant shall have no recourse to public funds. What does this mean? The issue is not simple as there are exceptions to the rules. The current Home Office guidance on the topic (as of today, 24 April 2019) can be used as a rule of thumb. It states:

“[T]here are exceptions for some benefits and if you are in any doubt, you should contact the department or agency that issues it. This will often be the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue & Customs.

Public funds include a range of benefits that are given to people on a low income, as well as housing support. These are:

  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income support
  • child tax credit
  • universal credit
  • working tax credit
  • a social fund payment
  • child benefit
  • housing benefit
  • council tax benefit
  • council tax reduction
  • domestic rate relief (Northern Ireland)
  • state pension credit
  • attendance allowance
  • severe disablement allowance
  • personal independence payment
  • carer’s allowance
  • disability living allowance
  • an allocation of local authority housing
  • local authority homelessness assistance

Public funds do not include benefits that are based on National Insurance contributions. National Insurance is paid in the same way as income tax and is based on earnings. Benefits to which a person is entitled as a result of National Insurance contributions include:

  • contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • incapacity benefit
  • retirement pension
  • widow’s benefit and bereavement benefit
  • guardian’s allowance
  • statutory maternity pay”


This note is provided for guidance purposes only and cannot be relied on as formal legal advice. It should be noted that the Home Office have frequently changed the categories relating to public funds, so you should always check the most up-to-date information available.

Gherson have extensive experience in all aspects of leave to remain in the UK and associated entitlements. If you have any questions or queries relating to public funds or issues relating to leave to remain, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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 2019