Asylum support

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What you'll get

You can ask for somewhere to live, a cash allowance or both as an asylum seeker.


You’ll be given somewhere to live if you need it. This could be in a flat, house, hostel or bed and breakfast.

You cannot choose where you live. It’s unlikely you’ll get to live in London or south-east England.

Cash support

You’ll usually get £49.18 for each person in your household. This will help you pay for things you need like food, clothing and toiletries.

Your allowance will be loaded onto a debit card (ASPEN card) each week. You’ll be able to use the card to get cash from a cash machine.

If your accommodation provides your meals

You’ll get £8.86 for each person in your household instead.

If you’ve been refused asylum but you’re still eligible for support

You’ll be given:

  • somewhere to live
  • £49.18 per person on a payment card for food, clothing and toiletries (or £8.86 per person if your accommodation provides your meals)

You will not be given:

  • the payment card if you do not take the offer of somewhere to live
  • any money

Extra money for mothers and young children

You’ll get extra money to buy healthy food if you’re pregnant or a mother of a child aged 3 or under. The amount you get will depend on your situation.

Your situation Extra payment per week
Pregnant mother £5.25
Baby under 1 year old £9.50
Child aged 1 to 3 £5.25

Maternity payment

You can apply for a one-off £300 maternity payment if your baby is due in 11 weeks or less, or if your baby is under 6 months old.

Applying for the maternity grant

You apply for the maternity grant in the same way whether you’re still an asylum seeker or you’ve been refused asylum.

You’ll need to request form MAT B1 from your doctor to apply for the payment. You can apply for the maternity payment at the same time you apply for asylum support.

If you get pregnant after you’ve applied for asylum support, you can apply to Migrant Help.


You may get free National Health Service (NHS) healthcare, such as to see a doctor or get hospital treatment.

You’ll also get:

  • free prescriptions for medicine
  • free dental care for your teeth
  • free eyesight tests
  • help paying for glasses


Your children must attend school if they are aged 5 to 17. All state schools are free and your children may be able to get free school meals.