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Key information

This information sheet explains the rules about benefits if you are a refugee.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

NB: This is a very complex area of the law so it is important that you seek specialist advice. You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find a local adviser to help you further.



You can read through this information sheet, or go directly to the sections you want to read by clicking on these links:


If you have been granted refugee status, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave you have broadly the same rights and entitlements to services as UK citizens and can apply for welfare benefits and tax credits.

You may find it difficult to gain entitlement to contributory benefits though since these depend upon you having a sufficient national insurance contribution record.

When making a claim for benefits you will need to be able to provide documents to prove your immigration status.

As each person's circumstances are different it is important to get expert advice before making a benefit claim.

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Refugee Integration Loan

Refugees or people with humanitarian protection may also be eligible for an integration loan.

This has to be paid back but it is an interest-free loan.

An integration loan can help cover the cost of the essential items needed to start a new life, for example work clothes, travel cards or household items.

For more information see the  information on refugee integration loans on the website (link opens in a new window)

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Further information

The Refugee Council (link opens in a new window) can provide further information and advice to refugees.

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Broadway logo

This information has been produced by Broadway. 

Last updated: 2 April 2014

Find an Adviser

Use our Find an Adviser tool to find a specialist adviser in your area.


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