Universal Credit: Immigrants

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd June 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Chair, Work and Pensions Committee, Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether a UK citizen who is married to a person with leave to remain in the UK but has no recourse to public funds is permitted to claim universal credit; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Where only one member of a couple is eligible for UC (for example the other adult in the couple is subject to immigration control) then that ineligible person’s circumstances will not be brought to bear in calculating how much the maximum amount of UC payable is. Their capital, income and earnings will, however, be taken into account in adjusting the actual UC award. The term ‘assessment unit’ is used to capture both members of a couple where one adult is not eligible for UC.

Non-UK nationals and family members who are issued with a residence permit with a NRPF condition are not eligible to access taxpayer-funded benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Benefit or housing assistance for the duration of their leave. Contributions-based benefits and the State Pension are not classed as public funds. DWP has no powers to award taxpayer-funded benefits to an individual whose Home Office immigration status specifies no recourse to public funds.

DWP decision makers undertake rigorous training and are expected to offer a high standard of support to help people identify the evidence they need to provide as part of their application for income-based benefits.

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