People seeking asylum in the UK are effectively prohibited from working so are forced to rely on support provided under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Asylum support rates are currently set at £39.63 per person per week or £5.66 a day to cover essential living needs like food, travel, clothing and communications.
Asylum Matters believes this level of support, which pushes people seeking asylum well below the poverty line, is inadequate to ensure a dignified standard of living and has a particularly detrimental impact on children and families. People who have been refused asylum may be eligible for support at the same level, this is called Section 4 support, though accessing such payments can be difficult and complex and it is only provided in a non cash format.
All people seeking asylum in the UK should be provided with sufficient support to meet their essential living needs whilst they remain in the country. Asylum Matters is advocating for support rates to be increased to at least 70% of the rate of mainstream welfare benefits. We are working to document the negative effects of living on asylum support on health, well-being and integration. Contact us if you have evidence to share, any questions or want to join our campaign.