The list of 'public funds' that certain migrants are prohibited from accessing has been amended today (5 October 2023). Some new Social Security Scotland benefits have been added to the list, and a clarification has been made with regards to Social Fund payments, which are available across the UK. The public funds list can be found at paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules and the amendments are set out in Statement of Changes HC 1780.
Social Security Scotland benefits
Social Security Scotland now administers certain benefits for people living in Scotland.
The following benefits available to people living in Scotland have been added to the list of ‘public funds’:
- Child Disability Payment
- Adult Disability Payment
- Carer’s Allowance Supplement
- Scottish Child Payment
- Funeral Support Payment
- Job Start Payment
- Child Winter Heating Assistance
- Winter Heating Payment
Over the last few years, the Scottish Government, through Social Security Scotland, has taken over the administration and funding of certain benefits that were previously provided by the Department of Work and Pensions. Although some of these new benefits have been available for a number of years, it is unlikely that a person who has leave to remain with a No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition will currently be in receipt of one, as they would usually fail to meet eligibility requirements relating to the benefit applicant’s immigration status. However, any person with a NRPF condition attached to their leave to remain, who receives a benefit that has been added to the list of public funds, either now or in the future, would need to seek advice from an immigration adviser and benefits adviser to find out what action they may need to take.
Not all benefits administered by Social Security Scotland are classed as 'public funds'. The following payments may be available to a person who has no recourse to public funds, if they meet the relevant qualifying criteria:
- Best Start Foods
- Young Carer Grant
- Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment
For more information about benefits for migrants in Scotland, see the COSLA Migrants' Rights and Entitlements guidance.
Social Fund payments
Payments provided by the Social Fund were already classed as ‘public funds’, but the different grants and loans that are available were not named in paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules.
The following grants and loans available through the Social Fund have now been specified on the list of public funds:
- Budgeting loan
- Sure start maternity grant
- Funeral payment
- Cold weather payment
- Winter fuel payment
These benefits are available to people living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. People living in Scotland can only claim a budgeting loan and winter fuel payment from the Social Fund, as the other benefits are now delivered by Social Security Scotland.
This amendment is not a policy change, as these payments were already classed as 'public funds'. If a person with a NRPF condition attached to their leave to remain has received one of these payments, they would need to seek advice from an immigration adviser and benefits adviser to find out what action they may need to take.