What are public funds?

Public funds that a person with NRPF cannot claim

A person with NRPF is prohibited from accessing specified welfare benefits and public housing. These are set out in section 115 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules​, although some exceptions apply.

When a person with NRPF has applied for, or received, one of the public funds listed below when an exception does not apply, they will need to seek advice from an immigration adviser​ to establish what impact this will have on their current immigration status and future applications. ​​

If a publically funded service is not on this list​, then a person with NRPF will not be prohibited from accessing it because of the NRPF condition.

Welfare benefits​

Attendance allowance

Disability living allowance

Personal independence payment

Carer’s allowance

Domestic rate relief (Northern Ireland)

Severe disablement allowance

Child benefit

Housing benefit

Social fund payment - includes: 

  • Budgeting loan
  • ​Sure start maternity grant
  • Funeral payment
  • Cold weather payment
  • Winter fuel payment
  • Crisis loan (Northern Ireland)
  • Community care grant (Northern Ireland)

Child tax credit

Income-based employment and support allowance

State pension credit

Council tax benefit

Income-based jobseeker’s allowance

Universal credit

Council tax reduction

Income support

Working tax credit

​Discretionary welfare payment​ made by a local authority in England, Scotland & Northern Ireland (in replacement of social fund crisis loans and community care grants; this scheme is yet to be implemented in Northern Ireland)


An allocation of local authority housing provided under the Housing Act 1996 (or equivalent legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland)

An allocation of a housing association property provided via the local authority rehousing list


Local authority homelessness assistance provided under the Housing Act 1996 (or equivalent legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland)


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There are some exceptions to the general prohibition to public funds when a person has NRPF because they are 'subject to immigration control'​.

The are exceptions for nationals of: Algeria, FYR Macedonia, Morocco, San Marino, Tunisia and Turkey due to agreements these countries have with the UK. For information about which benefits are affected and the conditions that the person may need to meet see: the Home Office Modernised Guidance, Public funds.​ 

Other exceptions set out in the Home Office guidance are summarised below.

Child benefit
When the parent of a British child has leave to remain with NRPF then they will normally be restricted from applying for child benefit or child tax credit if the other pare​nt cannot apply for these unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • They are the family member of a British, EEA or Swiss national, for example, a parent of a British Citizen child. Note that this does not apply to Zambrano carers​ (primary carer of a British Citizen child) because they are excluded by the child benefit eligibility regulations. 
  • They are a national of Algeria, Morocco, San Marino, Tunisia and Turkey and are working lawfully in the UK​.
  • They are the national of, or a person who has come to live in the UK from, one of the following countries: Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Israel, Jersey & Guernsey, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, and Serbia. 
  • They were entitled to child benefit prior to October 1996.
Working tax credit
Nationals of Turkey and Croatia who are lawfully present in the UK can claim working tax credit even if they have NRPF. 

Child tax credit
Nationals of Algeria, Morocco, San Marino, Tunisia and Turkey who are working lawfully in the UK can claim child tax credit even if they have NRPF.

People subject to a maintenance undertaking 
When a person has indefinite leave to remain as the adult dependent​ relative of a person settled in the UK, they will have NRPF for the first five years that they are resident in the UK, or after the maintenance undertaking was provided​ (whichever date is later). Once this period has passed, they will be able to claim any of the public funds listed above that they are entitled to. 

They will be able to claim public funds if the sponsor, who provided the maintenance undertaking, dies before the five year period has passed.

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Living with a partner who has NRPF

When a person with recourse to public funds (for example, a British Citizen or person with indefinite leave to remain in the UK) is living with a partner who has NRPF, then the partner with recourse will be able to access any public funds that they would normally be entitled to. However, they will not usually be able to claim additional funds for a partner or other family members that have NRPF, and will need to seek advice before including the NRPF family member on a joint benefit claim. There are some exceptions, where this is possible without causing any problems for the person with NRPF.

Tax credits

When a person who NRPF is living with a partner who has recourse to public funds, then they can jointly claim working tax credit and child tax credit without this causing the person with NRPF to be in breach of their immigration conditions if they have leave to enter or remain in the UK.

When a couple who are in this position are entitled to working tax credit only (but not child tax credit), they would not be able to receive the second adult element of working tax credit unless they are a national of Turkey or Croatia.

Social housing 

A joint council tenancy cannot be granted to a couple if either of them has NRPF. However if the partner of a person with NRPF is eligible for public funds, for example is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, they may hold a sole tenancy. In such instances the partner with NRPF will not be considered to have accessed public funds. This also applies to a housing association property that has been allocated via the council's allocation list.

Housing benefit and council tax reduction

A person who has recourse to public funds may be entitled to claim housing benefit and council tax reduction. However, if they are living with a partner who has NRPF, then before they make a claim they would need to find out from a benefits adviser:

  • Whether they have to include their partner's details on the housing benefit or council tax reduction claim
  • If they have to include their partner's details on the claim, whether they will receive an additional amount of benefit because of their partner's presence
If the person making the claim receives an additional amount because of their partner's presence then this could cause a problem for a person who has leave to remain with the NRPF condition. They would need to seek advice from an immigration adviser to find out whether this benefit claim will cause a problem for their immigration case, now or in the future.​

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Further information

More detail about the exceptions and when public funds may be claimed is set out in:

 Find a welfare benefits or housing adviser​ for specialist advice.

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Page updated 16 February 2018​