Press release

Immediate benefit support for those fleeing the invasion in Ukraine

People fleeing Ukraine and arriving in the UK can claim benefits immediately.

The Department for Work and Pensions is laying emergency regulations today (Monday 21 March 2022) so those arriving in the UK from Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion can access Universal Credit and jobs support immediately.

Ukrainians will also be eligible for Housing Benefit, Pension Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Child Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance, and Attendance Allowance. Contributions-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) are also available for those Ukrainians who meet the criteria.

Translation services are available to help new arrivals with phone applications, with Work Coaches in DWP Jobcentres on hand to support people making claims online.

DWP staff are also delivering additional face-to-face assistance to those who need it – including tailored support to find work and advice on benefit eligibility – and will continue to do so.

Without the emergency legislation people arriving from Ukraine would be subject to the Habitual Residence Test, meaning they would have to wait up to three months before being able to receive income-related benefits, including Universal Credit.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said:

My priority is that people fleeing the unimaginable horrors in Ukraine to seek safety here get the support and help they need from day one to move forward in their lives immediately.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Lucy Frazer said:

It is vital that families coming from Ukraine can support their children from the moment they arrive, and by adjusting child benefit rules and ramping up our support, the tax system is pivoting to ensure this happens.

Salvation Army Refugee Response co-ordinator Major Nick Coke said:

We welcome the news that Ukrainians coming to the UK will be able to access benefits immediately and for those who are able, help to find suitable work.

With offices on the ground in Ukraine and the border countries providing emergency food and shelter, The Salvation Army sees first-hand the trauma those displaced by war have experienced. It is fitting that they receive targeted help when seeking refuge in the UK.

Further information

The regulations exempt those arriving from Ukraine, from the Habitual Residence Test and the Past Presence Test, meaning, if eligible, they can access Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, State Pension Credit and disability and carer benefits from day one.

Published 21 March 2022