Annex E – Home Office Support

Annex E – additional information on the UK Government’s support for asylum seekers, migrants and refugees

Accommodation arrangements and nature of section 4(2) support: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/682495/asylum-support-section-4_2_-policy-and-process-v1.0ext.pdf

Cash payments are not provided to those receiving support provided under section 4(2). Those who receive the support are generally provided with accommodation and a payment card (the Aspen card) that can be used to buy food and other essential items. The Aspen card bears the visa logo and can be used at retail outlets that accept visa payments. 

Occasionally, full board accommodation may be provided to meet specific needs. In such cases, the Aspen card is not provided as food and essential toiletries are provided in the accommodation centre. 

Destitution test – Page 9 of 23 Published for Home Office staff on 16 February 2018 

To be eligible for support under section 4(2) a person must appear to be destitute or likely to become destitute within 14 days (or 56 days if they are already in receipt of support). A person is destitute if they: 

  • do not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether their other essential living needs are met)
  • have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet their other essential living needs 

In deciding whether a person is destitute, consider: 

  • the time that has elapsed since the period when any support provided under section 95 has ended 
  • the evidence available to support the application 
  • whether the person has, or has had, access to accommodation or financial support and if so the evidence about the continued availability of this support
  • If the person was not supported under section 95 of the 1999 act when their asylum claim was under consideration, or they were supported under that provision but it was discontinued some time ago, it is usually reasonable to consider that they have been able to access alternative sources of support before their application for section 4(2) support was made and that they can continue to do so unless a good explanation is provided as to why such support is no longer available. 

Additional Information for Section 98: https://www.asaproject.org/uploads/Factsheet_17_-_Section_98_support1.pdf

HC2 Certificates:  https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/no-recourse-to-public-funds-free-prescriptions-and-other-nhs-healthcare-services-for-pregnant-women/