Working with Jobcentres

How to approach the Jobcentre and who can assist you to help refugees claim benefits

*During the Covid-19 outbreak, benefits appointments and processes will change.  Keep up to date with developments with your local Job Centre*

All adult refugees who are resettled via Community Sponsorship will be entitled to claim benefits, and as a Community Sponsorship Group, it’s recommended that you find out as much as possible in your research to complete your application form.  You will be working in the abstract (you won’t know the composition or size of the refugee family you will be supporting at this stage), but there’s some key things that you can do:  

  • Find your Local Jobcentre Plus (JCP) – if you haven’t yet found accommodation, find the closest one to the area you anticipate the refugee family will live in. 

  • Make contact with the Job Centre to find out what the process for registration is

  • Make sure you are briefed on  benefits process and procedures. JCP staff deal with a lot of different programmes so might not be aware of some of the systems for refugees. 

The DWP’s Refugee Group Leads Network 

If your JCP has never worked with refugees before, they may be unfamiliar with the specific benefits and fast-track policies that resettled refugees are entitled to. When you meet with your JCP you should always be ready to advocate for these policies but if you find that staff are unaware of procedures or would benefit from specific guidance, you can contact the Refugee Group Lead who is the DWP representative specifically responsible to help refugees in your region to access benefits.  

The DWP has established the Refugee Leads Network to provide an escalation route for unresolved issues involving refugees’ access to benefits and to act as focal points for standardising and disseminating information regarding refugees to JCP staff in their region. The Refugee Group Lead in your region will be able to confirm correct policies and relay this information to staff at the JCP.  

Contacting your DWP Refugee Group Lead 

You can find the contact information for the DWP Refugee Group Leads in your region below*: 

Region Contact Name Email Address


Lynn McAteer

North East

Peter Clark
North Central Jo Ledgard 
North West Mariangela Hankinson
West Midlands

Sue Mannion

Caroline Holland

North and East Midlands

Chris Fields

Fiona Fisher

South East Mel Munro 
London and Essex

David Andersson

Denise Donovan

South West Simon Gratton
Wales Lorraine Davies


*If you are supporting refugees in Northern Ireland, the system for benefits does work differently, so for further advice please contact Reset

If you are partnering with another charity or organisation who are acting as your Lead Sponsor, it’s essential that you check with them whether they would like you to liaise with the Jobcentre or DWP Refugee Group Lead in a certain way. 

Last modified
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 09:22
Key things to do
  • Contact the Jobcentre Plus in your area
  • Find out who the DWP Refugee Group Lead is for your area
  • Ask about the benefits registration process for resettled refuges