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Benefits that are not public funds

This section sets out some of the benefits and related services that a person with no recourse to public funds may be able to claim. 

A person who is subject to the 'no recourse to public funds' (NRPF) condition is only excluded from claiming benefits that are classed as 'public funds' for immigration purposes. Any benefit that is not on the list of excluded public funds may be claimed by a person who has no recourse to public funds when they meet the qualifying requirements. A complete list of benefits that are classed as public funds is provided in the Home Office guidance on public funds but this document does not list all the benefits and services that a person who has no recourse to public funds may be able to claim. 

Access to work

A person who is employed and has a disability, or physical or mental health condition, may be able to apply for Access to Work to get extra help in order to be able to carry out their job. A person may be provided with a grant to obtain additional practical support or access to the Mental Health Support Service. The grant is available in England, Scotland and Wales. 

Access to Work is not a public fund for immigration purposes and therefore can be accessed by a person who is subject to the NRPF condition, if they meet the qualifying requirements. This is confirmed in the Department for Work and Pensions staff guide

See gov.uk for more information about Access to Work qualifying requirements and how to apply.

Benefits 

Benefits that are available to a person who has previously worked and/or paid National Insurance contributions are not classed as ‘public funds’ for immigration purposes.    

Benefits that are not classed as public funds include:

  • Bereavement Benefit and Widow’s Benefit (now replaced by Bereavement Support Payments)
  • New Style Jobseekers Allowance and contributory-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance and contributory-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Guardian's Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Retirement Pension
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Statutory Sickness Pay   

Council tax discounts 

A person who owns or rents their home will usually be liable to pay council tax to their local council. Council tax discounts may be available in some cases. For example, a single person occupying a property will be able to apply for a 25% discount off their total bill. 

A council tax discount is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes and can be claimed by a person who is subject to the NRPF condition.

However, Council Tax Reduction (also referred to as ‘Council Tax Support’), is a public fund for immigration purposes and cannot be claimed by a person who is subject to the NRPF condition.

Covid-19 support 

The Government has introduced several measures to help people who have lost their income due to the economic impacts of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Assistance received under the following schemes are not classed as public funds for immigration purposes:

  • Wages paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘furloughed workers’)
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme

These schemes can be accessed by a person or employer/ business owner who has leave to remain that is subject to the NRPF condition.

A person may need to seek legal advice from an immigration adviser to find out whether a change in their financial circumstances would have an affect on their current or future immigration position. For help finding an adviser, see our information about accessing legal advice