Benefits for non-UK nationals
If you come to the United Kingdom you may be eligible for financial help. To get this help you must be able to prove residency and that you are registered as a worker.
Benefits for non-UK nationals
Benefits you may be able to get are:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Housing Benefit/Rate Relief
- Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Carers Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Eligibility for these benefits will depend on your immigration status and if you are looking for employment and can apply for benefits in the same way as a UK national. To find out if you are registered or need to register follow the link below.
European Economic Area (EEA)
If you are an EEA national and exercising a Treaty right to seek and take up work, you need to show that you have a ‘right to reside’ and are ‘habitually resident’ in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.
Benefits you may be entitled to
There are different types of non-UK nationals, the following sections tells you about some of the groups and the benefits to which you may be entitled if you are in one of them. This is not a complete list and there may be some exceptions to these rules.
Third country national (nationals of a non-EU country) with limited leave including work permit holders, spouses and civil partners during the two year probationary period you generally won’t be able to get any benefits
Asylum seeker and are destitute, (for example, you are homeless or can’t buy food) financial support may be provided by the Home Office – for more information follow the link below.
Refugee or someone who has been granted Humanitarian Protection / Discretionary Leave you will be able to apply for benefits in the same way as a UK national - follow the link below to check which benefits you may be entitled to.
Person with indefinite leave to enter / remain you will generally have the same access to benefits as UK citizens unless a UK Sponsor has agreed to fund your stay in the UK, which means you won’t be entitled any benefits.
‘If you are sponsored you will not be allowed to claim income-related benefits for five years from your date of entry into the UK or from the date the sponsorship was signed, (whichever is the later) unless your sponsor dies. If you are not sponsored follow the link below to check which benefits you may be entitled to.
EEA national exercising Treaty rights, for example a worker or self-employed person you are eligible to access benefits on the same basis as UK citizens, provided you meet the relevant eligibility criteria for those benefits. Those who are economically inactive, including A8 and A2 nationals (see below) will not generally be entitled to income-related benefits.
A2 national (nationals of Bulgaria and Romania) and are a low-skilled worker, you will need to register with the Worker Authorisation Scheme (WAS) unless you are on the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or have been admitted to the UK with a work permit before 31 December 2006.
While registered with the WAS you are eligible for Social Housing, Housing Benefit / Rate Relief. Following 12 months of continuous employment as a registered worker, you will gain full EEA status and will be eligible for benefits on the same basis as existing EEA nationals - if you meet the 12 month rule, follow the link below to check which benefits you may be entitled to. The requirement for A2 Nationals to obtain work authorisation has been extended to 31/12/2013.
If you are in doubt over which category you fall into or if you need further information contact:
- your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits office or the Employment and Support Allowance centre
- the Disability and Carers service for disability benefits
- the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or Land and Property Services for help with housing costs / rate relief
- Her Majesties Revenue and Customs for Tax Credits
- the UK Border Agency to find out about your immigration status or about working in the UK.
- Social Security / Jobs and Benefits offices (contacts section)
- Employment Support Allowance Centre (contacts section)
- Disability and Carers Service (contacts section)
- Northern Ireland Housing Executive (contacts section)
- Land & Property Services (contacts section)
- HMRC tool on the HM Revenue and Customs website
- UK Border Agency on the UK Border Agency website