If you have never applied for benefits or helped someone apply for benefits, the UK’s social welfare system can seem daunting. Not to worry though, we have created a number of resources that will help guide you through the process of working with a Jobcentre, calculating benefits and applying for benefits.
If you are a Community Sponsorship Group based in Scotland, do read our Benefits in Scotland guidance.
Have you identified the Jobcentre Plus locations closest to where the resettled family will live? (3.3a)
You can find the Jobcentre Plus closest to the family’s accommodation or around the area you expect them to live here.
Please confirm that you will pre-book appointments with the Jobcentre Plus within three days of the resettled family’s arrival. (3.3b)
In order to secure an appointment within three days of the family’s arrival, we recommend contacting the Jobcentre Plus in your area to discuss your plans and find out how the registration process works. Find out more information that will help you throughout this section in our Working with Jobcentres resource.
How will you support the resettled family to make a claim for social welfare income? (3.3c)
- Will you accompany the family to their first appointment?
- Will you confirm with the Jobcentre that there will be interpreters provided?
- Will you ensure that they have access to an internet connection and a bank account, which are needed to make a claim and receive benefit payments?
Our Introduction to Universal Credit resource will help you understand what is involved in applying for benefits.
We recommend that for the first appointment, you do provide an interpreter for the registration appointment, but rely on DWP interpreting services thereafter. If needed, you could consider asking a volunteer to accompany the family to this visit who may be able to occupy any children.
Taking into consideration any potential impact of the benefit cap, how much social welfare income do you calculate the resettled family are likely to receive each week? Please provide the way in which you have worked out this calculation (£)? (3.3d)
We recommend using the Turn2us benefits calculator to calculate available benefits for a family and you can find example families who could be welcomed through the UKRS programme in our calculating benefits resource. Always specify how many people you have calculated for when presenting the information. You will need to revise these numbers once you have been approved and allocated a family, but this will provide a baseline for you.
In addition to calculating how much the family is likely to receive, you should also include the current benefit cap for your area to illustrate your understanding that even if the family qualify for more money, there is a limit to what they can claim. The benefit cap is set for inside Greater London and everywhere else outside Greater London. You can find more information about the current benefit cap for your area on the government's website or Turn2us as well as in our resource on supporting refugees affected by the benefit cap. Your Local Authority's website may list the benefit cap for your area as well.