Universal Credit: Refugees

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 28th December 2018.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department provides to refugees granted asylum that have made an application for universal credit.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Asylum Support is available to newly recognised refugees through the Home Office whilst their status is under consideration. This support continues for 28 days after refugee status is granted. A claim to Universal Credit can be made immediately once refugee status is granted and Asylum Support is not deducted from their Universal Credit award during the 28 days run on period. Work coaches receive training to help them identify and support vulnerable claimants, including refugees, and build supportive relationships with claimants to encourage them to openly discuss any barriers, concerns or problems as they emerge.

Provided the eligibility criteria for Universal Credit is met, we will always offer an advance payment to a refugee when making a new claim, and staff have access to information on a range of services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants, including refugees. This includes Universal Support, which provides help with using online services and budgeting advice. We also have access to a range of translation services to assist, should a claimant need support to overcome any language barriers.

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