Right to Reside - Which benefits does the right to reside test apply to?

Some benefits require you to have a right to reside.

Last reviewed 14 June 2023

Which benefits does the right to reside test apply to?

* Note it is no longer possible to make a new claim for Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or income-based Jobseekers Allowance, or child tax credit (except Child Tax Credit if you are a refugee claiming this for a past period).

For all the benefits listed above, you must have a right to reside when you claim and continue to have a right to reside as it is an on-going requirement. This means your benefit could stop if you lose your right to reside.

The requirement to have a right to reside applies to the claimant.  If you live with a partner and claim Universal Credit you must make a joint claim and therefore the right to reside requirement applies to both partners.  If you have a qualifying right to reside, but your partner does not, Universal Credit is paid to you as a single person, but your partner’s income and capital are still taken into account.

Satisfying the other benefit conditions

If you have a right to reside, your entitlement to benefit will depend on you also satisfying the other conditions for the benefit.

For child benefit this includes the requirement to have lived in the UK for three months before the start of your claim (unless an exemption applies to you).

For such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit, as well as having a right to reside you also need to be ‘habitually resident in fact’ in the   unless you are in one of the exempt groups below.

You are exempt from the Habitual Residence Test for   if:

  • You are a refugee or have humanitarian protection.
  • You lived in Ukraine until the end of 2021 and left in connection with the Russian invasion in February 2022 and you have leave in the UK or you are British or Irish.
  • You left Afghanistan in connection with the collapse of the Afghan government in August 2021 and you have leave in the UK.
  • You left Sudan in connection with the violence that escalated from April 2023 and you were living in Sudan before then and you have leave in the UK or you are British or Irish.
  • You have been granted leave outside the Immigration Rules - including Discretionary Leave and Destitution Domestic Violence Concessionary Leave.
  • You are not subject to immigration control and have been deported, expelled or removed from another country to the UK.
  • You are an EEA national who has a ‘worker’ or ‘self-employed’ status  in the UK, including if you have retained that status.
  • You are a family member of someone in either of the above two groups. 
  • You are an EEA national with a permanent right to reside due to having ceased work because you retired or became permanently incapable of work – or you are the family member of such an EEA national and were when they stopped work.


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