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Asylum Seekers - Asylum Support

There are special rules about benefits for asylum seekers waiting for a decision on an asylum application.

Asylum Support

If you are unable to support yourself and your family while your asylum application is being considered, you may be eligible for financial support provided by UK Visas and Immigration to buy essentials such as food, clothing and toiletries and/or suitable housing. If UK Visas and Immigration provide you with housing, you will have no choice about where you live and it  is unlikely that you will get to live in London or South East England.

Cash support

Cash support for asylum seekers from UK Visas and Immigration is less generous than mainstream benefit rates from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The current rates of support are £39.63 per week for each person in your family group.

If you are a woman who is pregnant or with children under three, you can receive extra money to help you buy healthy food:

  • Pregnant women receive an extra £3 a week
  • A baby under the age of 12 months receives an extra £5 a week
  • Children aged between one and three years receive an extra £3 a week.

If you are pregnant, you may also be able to receive a one-off £300 maternity payment, if you meet certain requirements. This money is to help you with the costs of having the baby.

How to apply for support

Each asylum seeker will have a 'case owner'. If you are eligible to receive support, and sign an agreement to say you will obey the conditions upon which the support is provided, your case owner will arrange for you to collect money from a post office near where you live.

To collect your cash support, you must show your asylum application registration card.

Further Information

The following agencies may also be able to provide information and support:

The Asylum Support Appeals Project also has fact sheets with further information.


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