Learn about other welfare benefits the family you support may be entitled to
There are a number of benefits that are not included in Universal Credit. Your group will have to assist the refugee family to apply for those separately. Below is a list of most common benefits not included in Universal Credit. Some of these, like Council Tax Support will apply to pretty much every family, others can only be claimed in very specific circumstances. Carefully explore different benefits available to make sure the family you support isn’t loosing out financially.
Council Tax support
Council Tax support helps individuals and families cover their council tax bill. This benefit is processed by your Local Authority. You should be able to find information on how to apply on your Local Authority’s website. Any discount will be deducted directly from the family’s council tax bill. In most cases Council Tax support will not cover the entire bill, so the family will need to budget to pay the balance from their Universal Credit allowance.
Parents and guardians of children or young people (aged 16-19) in full time education can receive Child Benefit. Any parent with an income of less than £50,000 is eligible for Child Benefit. To apply you can just download an application form and post it to the HMRC address, which you can find on the form. It is likely that HMRC will ask to see original copies of ID, and in our experience, it is not advisable to post the BRPs of the family, instead, ask your Job Centre to make a verified copy for the family which can be sent to HMRC.
Anyone above the qualifying pension age will need to apply for Pension Credit rather than Universal Credit. You can find out more about the process and eligibility here.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Anyone between 16 and 65 years old diagnosed with a long term illness, mental health condition or with a disability can apply for the Personal Independence Payment. To start the application process call DWP and give them some initial information – you can find out more about this process here. You can request that DWP provides interpreters for the initial phone call as well as any future assessments. We recommend that you get help from benefit specialist for any part of the application process beyond the initial phone call.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children
This is an equivalent of Personal Independence Payment for children. In this case, a child is defined as being under 16. To apply your group will need to support the refugee family to either request a full application form by phone or download it here. We recommend that you get help from benefit specialist to fill out the application form.
Attendance allowance is a benefit for people over 65 who find it difficult to care for themselves because of a disability or illness. You can find out more about the application process and eligibility criteria here.
Carer’s allowance is a benefit for people giving regular care to a person in their household who cannot care for themselves. You can find out more about the eligibility criteria and application process here.
Refugees arriving in Scotland
Refugees living in Scotland are entitled to all social security benefits administrated by the UK Government and the Scottish Government.
In Scotland, as well as benefits provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, such as Universal Credit and by HMRC, such as Child Benefit, there are a range of new benefits provided by the Scottish Social Security Agency that can be accessed by the refugees you have sponsored.
These include payments for supporting new babies and children. Support for those starting new jobs, help with the costs of funerals and support for young carers.
There are also crisis payments available from the Social Welfare Fund for those who are experiencing crisis like destitution due to benefit delays. This can be accessed through the local authority which the family you are sponsoring live in.
These types of support are specific to Scotland and are not available in England or Wales. You should make sure when looking for support for those you are supporting that you consult agencies based in Scotland. You can find more information on the mygov.scot website.