Asylum Seekers UK benefits – what you can expect

If you are seeking asylum in the UK, there are benefits that you may be entitled to apply for while you await the decision on the future. Contrary to what much of the press may imply, these are small payments, and will only be enough for you and your family to scrape by while your future is decided. However, these are still important payments, and could hugely help in the short term.

What benefits will I receive if seeking Asylum?

If you are seeking Asylum in the UK, the benefits that you are allowed to ask for are limited to certain specific things. You will be allowed to ask for the following:

  • Housing
    You will be accommodated in a flat, house, hostel, or hotel. However, you will not be allowed to choose where you will be living, and it will likely be in the North of England.
  • Financial support
    You will be paid a flat £37.75 per week for each person in your household, which will be loaded on to a debit card – also known as an Aspen card – weekly. This is to be used for food, clothing, and all other essentials. However, you will be eligible to receive an extra £3 per person in the household for anyone who is pregnant or aged between 1 year old and 3 years old. Any babies under the age of 1 will be eligible for an extra £5 payment per week.
  • Healthcare
    You may be eligible to receive National Health Service (NHS) healthcare, which means you could be able to see a doctor or get treatment in a local hospital. However, you will be guaranteed free medicine prescriptions, dental care, and eye tests – if you need glasses as a result, there will be help paying for them
  • Education
    By law, children aged between 5 and 17 must attend school. They will be placed in a local state school and may be eligible for free school meals also.

Depending on your circumstances upon entering the country, you may be eligible for a one-off maternity payment. This would be £300 if your baby is due within the next 8 weeks, or is under 6 weeks older. You can find out more on the UK Government website here.

What benefits will I receive if I have been refused asylum?

If you have been refused asylum, this is much more tricky. The Maternity Action website goes into further detail.

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