Skip to content

Benefits for non-UK nationals - do I qualify?

If you come to live in 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
  • Tax Credits

Eligibility

Eligibility for these benefits will depend on;

  • your immigration status
  • if you are looking for employment

If you meet these conditions you 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)

The member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries are:

  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,Portugal, Slovak Republic, Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Ireland and the United Kingdom (including the Isle of Man and Channel Islands)
  • Switzerland is not a member of the EEA but has signed an agreement which allows its citizens the same free movement rights as EEA nationals

The member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries are:

  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom (including the Isle of Man and Channel Islands which form part of the Common Travel Area (CTA))
  • Switzerland is not a member of the EEA but has signed an agreement which allows its citizens the same free movement rights as EEA nationals

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’ (can legally live here) and are ‘habitually resident’ (this is the place where you normally live) in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.

From 1 January 2014, before you can claim income based Jobseeker’s Allowance you must have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland for the three months immediately before making your claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

From 1 April 2014, EEA jobseekers will not be able to claim Housing Benefit (if you are already receiving income based Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit, this will not apply to you).

New rules for EEA Nationals and returning UK Nationals

From 1 November 2014, EEA  nationals with ‘jobseeker’ residency status will be able to claim income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance for a maximum of six months. EEA  nationals with ‘retained worker’ residency status will be able to claim income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance for a maximum of nine months. Both EEA  jobseekers and EEA retained workers will undergo a Genuine Prospect of Work assessment at  three and six months respectively.

From 1 January 2014, before an EEA National or returning UK National can claim income based Jobseekers Allowance they must have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland for the three months immediately before making your claim for Jobseekers Allowance.

From 1 April 2014, EEA jobseekers will not be able to claim Housing Benefit. If you are already receiving income based Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit this will not apply to you.

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance

Further information

If you are in doubt over which category you fall into or if you need further information, you should contact:

  • your local Social Security/Jobs & 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 Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for Tax Credits
  • the UK Border Agency to find out about your immigration status or about working in the UK

More useful links