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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Section 95 support
  3. 3. Section 98 emergency support
  4. 4. Section 4 support
  5. 5. How to apply for support
  6. 6. What happens if support is refused
  7. 7. When Home Office support ends

Section 4 support

The Home Office can provide housing and financial support to a person who becomes appeal rights exhausted (ARE) when their asylum claim is unsuccessful if they do not have accommodation and/or cannot afford to meet their essential living needs. This support is provided under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

As well as demonstrating that they are destitute, the person must show that they meet one of the following requirements.

  • They are taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK
  • They are unable to leave the UK due to physical impediment or other medical reason
  • They have no safe route of return
  • They have been granted permission to appeal in an application for judicial review in relation to their asylum claim
  • They require support to avoid a breach of their human rights (this will usually apply if they have made further submissions to the Home Office for a fresh asylum claim)  

Section 4 support is usually provided to adults without children who become ARE following an unsuccessful asylum claim when they meet one of the additional requirements. They will no longer qualify for section 95 support if there is no child in their household at the point that their asylum claim is finally determined. Section 4 support can be accessed immediately after section 95 support ends or at a later date.

Some ARE families may only qualify for section 4 support rather than section 95 support. For example, they will only qualify for section 4 support if any children in the household were born after the parent's asylum claim was finally determined.

A person who has accommodation cannot apply for financial support (subsistence) only.

For detailed information about section 4 support please see the Home Office policy and process guidance.

Financial support

Financial support is provided on a payment card which can be used to make purchases of food, clothing and toiletries.

The weekly amount provided is £49.18 for each person in the household.

Additional weekly payments are made for pregnant mothers (£5.25), babies under 1 (£9.50) and children aged 1 to 3 (£5.25).

A person who is being provided with full-board hotel accommodation will receive a weekly allowance of £8.86 in addition to receiving food and toiletries.

Immigration terms

Appeal rights exhausted (ARE)

The status of a person whose asylum or immigration claim has been refused when they have come to the end of the appeal process without success or have no further right of appeal. 

Asylum seeker

A person who has made a claim to the UK government for protection (asylum) under the United Nations Refugee Convention 1951 and is waiting for a decision from the Home Office or final decision from the appeal courts (following a refusal).