Welfare Benefits

Last modified: 18 October 2019

Welfare benefits are payments given by the government to certain people on low incomes, or to meet specific needs.

If you have Tier 4 leave (or any other leave with the condition stating ‘No recourse to public funds’) you cannot claim most welfare benefits.

However, if you have worked in the UK, then you might be able to claim a benefit based on National Insurance contributions or if you are pregnant or have recently given birth you might be able to claim a maternity benefit such as maternity allowance or statutory maternity pay.

Public Funds

Last modified: 11 October 2019

What are ‘Public funds’?

What if I do receive ‘public funds’?


Last modified: 18 October 2019

If you have refugee status, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave then get advice from your institution, Students' Union, Citizens Advice bureau or Law Centre about applying for any welfare benefits.

If you have refugee status and you are studying English for at least 15 hours a week, then get advice about Income Support in particular. 

Further advice

Last modified: 11 October 2019

If you need information or advice on your entitlement to benefits, the Students’ Union Student Advice Service or your institution may help. You can also get free advice from any Citizens Advice bureau, and some Law Centres will also offer free advice if you live locally (see list of websites below). For information on health benefits, please see Health and healthcare.