Support for asylum seeker & refugee families

4 mins read

We’re here for all families with disabled children across the UK. That includes families seeking asylum as refugees, and families granted leave to remain through the asylum process or government resettlement schemes.

In this article

Money, benefits & work

The financial support available from the UK government is different for people seeking asylum, people with refugee status and those with resettled status.

Support for families seeking asylum

People seeking asylum are subject to immigration control rules and mostly won’t be able to work or claim benefits unless they fall into certain limited exempt categories.

The government offers some support to asylum seekers, including access to money and housing. See more information on

Read more about working while seeking asylum, and visit Turn to Us for more information about benefits and asylum seekers.

Support for families with refugee status

People with refugee status – that is, those who have been granted leave to remain as a refugee – can access most benefits, as they are not subject to immigration control.

This also applies to anyone granted humanitarian protection under the immigration rules. Special rules allow refugees and others granted humanitarian protection to claim UK benefits straightaway without being here for a minimum period of time.

Some benefits, known as contributory benefits, require someone to have worked and paid national insurance contributions for in the UK before they can claim, and this also applies to refugees.

We have lots of information on our website about benefits and tax credits for families with disabled children.

Turn2Us have more information about what benefits you can get claim if you are a refugee.

Read about your rights after you get refugee status from Citizen’s Advice.

Your child’s education

Children who are asylum seekers or refugees of compulsory school – that’s age five-16 – must receive education, which will usually be at a school. Local authorities must provide school places.

We have information on our website about how schools across the UK support disabled children and those with special/additional support/learning needs.

Help with childcare

All three and four-year-olds qualify for 15 hours a week free childcare. Some children will qualify from the age of two.

Read more about two-year-olds that qualify on the government website.

More support

Help for Ukrainian refugees

The UK government is granting special visas to Ukrainians escaping the war.

Money, work & benefits

These three-year visas for resettled Ukrainian nationals come with no restrictions on working or accessing public funds such as benefits.


As a result, there should be no restrictions on resettled Ukrainian nationals claiming state benefits in the UK. They should qualify, so long as they meet the general qualifying rules in the same way as a UK national. Special rules allow resettled Ukrainian nationals to claim UK benefits straight away without being here for a minimum period of time. This also applies to benefits administered by Social Security Scotland.

At the time of writing, the government has not changed the council tax reduction rules to take into account resettled Ukrainians. This means there is a risk that they have not been in the UK long enough to claim a council tax reduction.

Ukrainians who have only recently come to the UK will not have sufficient national insurance contributions to get contributory benefits.

National insurance numbers

You do not need a national insurance number (NINO) in order to claim state benefits. Instead, you’ll be issued a NINO as part of a successful benefit claim.


If a national insurance number (NINO) is needed to start working rather than to claim benefits, an application can be made online at

Payments to hosts of families from Ukraine

The UK government has also launched a scheme to ‘host’ resettled Ukrainians. Hosts will receive a payment from the government of £350 per month. The government’s intention is that this payment should not affect any means tested benefits or tax credits that a host receives.

More support