Among the many benefits of seeking asylum in the UK is the support provided under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, which obliges the Home Office to give a weekly allowance of £47.39 as well as housing for those seeking to gain refugee status, a process which could take over 12 months.
The financial support is intended for such essential living needs as food, toiletries, transport, and medicine, though you may also be entitled to additional support from the NHS. There may be extra help available to those who require it, such as additional weekly payments of £3 per child for pregnant mothers. A onetime maternity grant of £300 is also available per child.
For those in full-board hotel accommodation, a subsistence allowance of £9.58 will be given on top of the food and other essentials that are provided.
Section 95 Support Application
While your application to claim asylum is pending, you may apply for section 95 support if you are over 18 by filling in the Asylum Support Application Form (ASF1) and sending it by mail or digitally via email to the asylum support casework team.
It may take up to a number of months for the section 95 application to be returned, but you can apply for alternative emergency means of support in the meantime using the Initial Accommodation Referral Form.
Section 98 Support
Section 98 support is available for those whose applications for section 95 support is still pending and usually provides a means of ‘initial accommodation’ for those unable to house themselves as of yet. It also grants a daily £5 allowance to afford urgent living expenses.
A ‘destitution test’ may have to be conducted to prove you do not have the means to supply yourself with suitable accommodation but after a screening interview if you meet the eligibility criteria you should receive housing immediately.
Though there is no right to appeal a section 98 support application being rejected, the Asylum Support Appeals Project claims that a reconsideration should be requested from the Home Office as a mistake being made in the process is entirely possible.
Section 98 support will cease upon an accepted application being received for section 95 support, or you are rejected and will need to find some immediate form of assistance.
Section 4 Support
For someone seeking asylum who has become appeal rights exhausted (ARE) after having their asylum claim application rejected, thus not being able to receive section 95 benefits, there is section 4 support available until it is possible to safely and practically leave the country.
This is usually the same as section 95 support, which will provide the weekly £47.39 per person plus accommodation, and is also accessible to individuals who anticipate homelessness within the next 14 days. Typically, you can expect to receive a response regarding the application for this within 5 working days.
Not only will you have to prove your destitute status for this type of support, but you will also have to show that you are doing all that is possible to find a route out of the country and/or any medical impediments to this.
There may be other reasons why you could be entitled to section 4 support, and it is recommended to consult with a legal expert, such as one of our experienced team members at Newcastle Immigration Lawyers, for further assistance with your asylum support claim. Contact us on 0191 303 8965 or online.
Responsibilities and Considerations
While the UK provides a certain amount of support for those making a claim for asylum, it is important to understand the limitations of this aid.
The Home Office will establish a strict set of regulations you must abide by in order to continue being able to collect your asylum support. These include simple administrative tasks such as attending appointments arranged by immigration authorities and keeping them accurately updated with any changes to your situation.
While you are claiming for asylum, you cannot work for the first 12 months after your application, which creates an extra challenge when it comes to supplying essential living needs for those in your household. It is recommended to seek financial and budgeting advice in order to make the most of your weekly subsistence allowance.
The quality of the accommodations given can vary considerably from one case to the next, so it is necessary to note especially with section 98 ‘initial accommodation’ that there have been reports of unsanitary or inadequate living conditions. Often you will not be able to choose an alternative means of accommodation, nor will privately renting be a legal or practical option for asylum seekers.
If an asylum seeker is granted leave to remain status (refugee status), section 95 support will expire within 28 days, whereby mainstream UK benefits such as Universal Credit will be available to apply for.
You also need to be aware of the recent Illegal Migration Act which will require you to enter the country legally and not through a safe third country in order to make a claim for asylum and the relevant support.
The process of deciding which type of support most applies to your case and the actual process of applying for it can be very difficult to navigate alone, but Newcastle Immigrations Lawyers are available to assist your individual circumstances and needs, ready to set you on a path to a safe and secure livelihood in the UK.
Our friendly team of experienced immigration specialists offer a wide range of services bound to meet your needs.
Aside from assistance with your asylum support application and any appeals, our team will help with detained casework, family reunion applications, and advice regarding anything related to the process for claiming support as an asylum seeker or refugee such as checking any documents for errors before submission.
Contact us online, on the phone on 0191 303 8965, or visit us in our office in Newcastle. We can arrange video calls too via Skype.
Last modified on October 18th, 2023 at 1:40 pm
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
Asylum seekers in the UK have the same full level of access to the National Health Service (NHS) as anyone that has ‘ordinary residency’ status. Without needing to pay any fees, people claiming for asylum will be able to book visits to a General Practitioner (GP), be able to use emergency hospital services, maternity services, and be entitled to other essential health benefits such as prescriptions, eye tests and dental care.
It is important to understand your level of healthcare may not be as comprehensive as someone with refugee status, but you are still guaranteed primary health care even with a rejected asylum claim. Mental health support may also be available to provide psychological care for those who require it.
After being sent, a section 95 support application can take up to a number of months to come back, though on average this only usually takes around 3-6 weeks. Ensure all the information on your application is accurate and up to date as possible to improve the chances of it being answered sooner.