The Home Office can provide housing and financial support to a person who has claimed asylum if they do not have accommodation and/ or cannot afford to meet their essential living needs. This support is provided under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and will continue until the person’s asylum claim is finally determined by the Home Office or appeal courts.
Section 95 support is also available to a person who has made an Article 3 human rights claim.
An asylum seeker can also apply for emergency support under section 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, which may be provided whilst the Home Office makes a decision on their eligibility for section 95 asylum support.
An asylum seeker who has accommodation can apply for financial support (or subsistence) only.
Financial support is provided on a debit card which can be used to make purchases in shops or to withdraw cash.
The weekly amount provided is £47.39 for each person in the household. Additional weekly payments are made for pregnant mothers (£3), babies under 1 (£5) and children aged 1 to 3 (£3).
A person who is being provided with full-board hotel accommodation will receive a weekly allowance of £9.58 in addition to receiving food and toiletries.
A person who has been provided with hotel accommodation under section 98, whilst their asylum support application is being decided, will not qualify for the weekly allowance until they are eligible for section 95 support.
Section 95 support will be withdrawn if a person is granted leave to remain. A notice period will be provided to enable the person to make a claim for benefits and access housing assistance from their local council. This is often referred to as the ‘move on’ period. Councils should be notified of people in their area who have been issued with a move on notice. However, many people are currently receiving a notice to quit giving them just 7 days to leave their asylum accommodation.
Section 95 support will be withdrawn if a person becomes appeal rights exhausted (ARE) when their asylum claim is unsuccessful and they do not have a child under 18 in their household. A notice period will be provided.
If a person becomes ARE and there is a child under 18 in the household when the final decision was made by the Home Office or appeal courts, the family will continue to receive section 95 support. Section 95 support will remain ongoing to a family whilst they have a child under 18, providing that they continue to qualify. Section 95 may be withdrawn from a family when the youngest child in the household turns 18 or if the Home Office determine that the family are no longer destitute.
If section 95 support is refused or withdrawn, there will be a right of appeal against this decision.
The Asylum Support Appeals Project provides advice and assistance with appeals against refusals or withdrawals of asylum support.
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.
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).