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Prisoners on release

This guide provides information about the benefits which may be available to you if you are on release from prison, depending on your personal circumstances.

1. Temporary licence

You cannot claim benefits if you are released from prison on temporary licence but somebody you are living with may be able to access Local Welfare Assistance for help towards living expenses.

2. Home curfew

If you are released early from prison on an electronic tag (Home Detention Curfew), you can claim most benefits in the normal way. If you can’t claim Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit because your curfew limits the times you are available for work, or the places you can travel to, you can apply to court to get the conditions changed.

3. Benefits when released from prison

You can claim most benefits in the normal way. Use the Turn2us Benefit Calculator to check which benefits you may be entitled to.

You will need a national insurance number to claim benefits. If you haven’t already got one, the Government's Gov.UK website has more information on how to apply for a national insurance number.

You will also need to prove your identity, so make sure you keep form B79 (notification of discharge from prison), sometimes known as discharge papers, when you leave prison.

There are guides for people leaving prison who need to claim Universal Credit on the government website.

There is more information about prisoners resettlement on the Ministry of Justice website.

4. Other help

You may be able to apply to your local authority's Local Welfare Assistance scheme for help to re-establish yourself in the community following a stay in prison. What help is available will depend on your local scheme. See our Emergency Assistance section for further details.

A Short Term Benefit Advance could be claimed while you are waiting for a new benefit claim to be processed.

You may also receive a discharge grant from the prison to help with living costs before your benefits come through.