Government urged to extend self-isolation support to asylum seekers in the UK
The Scottish Greens have called for the government to expand their self-isolation support grant to asylum seekers who have no recourse to public funds. They have claimed that strict Home Office rules have meant that many asylum seekers in the UK have been left in vulnerable positions due to their inability to work or claim benefits.
Andy Wightman, Scottish Greens communities spokesperson wrote to the First Minister asking for the criteria for the grant to be changed. He said:
“Given that most people who have no recourse to public funds are not allowed to work by law, this exacerbates the risk of destitution for many extremely vulnerable people. It also undermines the public health benefits that expanding the Self-Isolation Support Grant creates.”
What is the self-isolation grant?
The self-isolation grant is a grant of £500 that is currently available to people across the UK who face a loss of income if they need to isolate due to exposure to coronavirus.
To be eligible for the grant you must be on a low income, self-employed or claiming universal credit. The grant is intended to ensure that people follow the rules to self isolate if they are told to and that they are financially able to do this.
What support do asylum seekers in the UK currently receive?
Contrary to misconceptions about asylum seekers in the UK, they receive very little support from the government. Whilst going through the asylum system, asylum seekers in the UK are not allowed to claim benefits. If facing destitution asylum seekers can get some financial help from the government. If they qualify for this they can be provided accommodation and given a payment of £37.75 a week to live off. Asylum seekers also do not get to choose what type of accommodation they will be in and where in the UK they will be housed.
It’s also worth noting that asylum seekers also don’t have a right to work in the UK until their claim has been processed, most claims now take over 6 months to process.
If you need help
If you need help with claiming asylum in the UK, our Manchester Immigration Lawyers are here for you. They have a vast knowledge of the UK asylum system and can help to guide you through it. Our lawyers can also assist with other immigration issues, such as UK Visa applications.
To find out more, speak to them today on 01618269783.
The Scottish Greens are campaigning for the criteria for the self-isolation support grant to change (Image credit: Scottish Greens)