28 days later: experiences of new refugees in the UK

Document type
Doyle, Lisa
Refugee Council
Date of publication
7 May 2014
Minority Groups, Housing and Homelessness, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This report examines the transition period between when someone is granted refugee status and their Asylum Support ends. Current Home Office policy is that those who are in receipt of Asylum Support cease to be entitled to accommodation and cash support 28 days after their notification of being granted refugee status. This represents a rapid change in circumstances for people who may not have been in the UK for very long, are unfamiliar with the systems, may not speak good English and will not have had access to employment and savings.

Under the current system, refugees must quickly obtain housing and a means to support and feed themselves and their families but face multiples barriers to doing so with people often waiting for months to be issued the correct documentation to enable them to claim mainstream benefits, find employment and support themselves. Refugees are left at particular risk of homelessness as they are often not classed as ‘priority need’ for housing by local authorities and will usually lack the savings necessary to access the private rental sector.

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