Destitution is a huge problem amongst asylum seekers, one that pushes them to the brink of our society. Asylum seekers have to wait months or years for the outcome of their asylum claim, during which they are prohibited from working and only receive minimal or no financial support. They are entitled to just £35 a week of cash or card support, that is £5 a day. This has to cover everything - food, toiletries, clothes etc. - as well as travel costs to get to crucial legal appointments or asylum meetings. As a result, asylum seekers are reliant on charities and their limited social networks to make ends meet.
The majority of asylum seekers who come to the Refugee Council have no recourse to asylum support, due to administrative faults or because their asylum claims have been refused (this does not necessarily mean they can go back to their home countries). They are severely marginalised in our society, often sleeping rough and living an isolated life without knowing who to turn to.
They also face significant barriers to accessing healthcare, activities and social networks. It is important that destitute asylum seekers are afforded the same respect and care as anyone else in our society. This is why we have developed our destitution services model.
Access our destitution services