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Asylum Seekers

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list (a) the benefits that may be available to asylum seekers, (b) the amounts that may be available and (c) the criteria for eligibility. [108470]

Since 3 April 2000 the Home Office, through the National Asylum Support Service, has been responsible for supporting and accommodating asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their asylum application.Those asylum seekers in receipt of Department for Work and Pension benefits prior to 3 April 2000 continue to be eligible to claim income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit as long as they meet the normal conditions of entitlement for those benefits.Income support and income-based jobseeker's allowance are paid at the urgent case rate of 90 per cent. of the adult personal allowance for the benefit recipient and any partner. The full rate of benefit is payable for any dependent children as well as any relevant premiums.The amount of any housing benefit or council tax benefit payable is governed by the level of rent or council tax charged.