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Prisoners on release

This guide tells you what benefits you can get if you are on release from prison

1. Temporary licence

Prisoners released on temporary license cannot get means tested benefits like Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, and Income Support.

Prisoners released on temporary license can get non-means tested benefits but cannot get New Style JSA.

Reviewed: April 2022


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.

Reviewed: April 2022

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.


Reviewed: April 2022

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 Information guide information on Local Welfare Assistance funds for further details.

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


Reviewed: April 2022