People arriving in the UK from Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), and Lebanon because of the violence from 7 October 2023 can now apply, if eligible, for financial support faster.
The Occupied Palestinian Territories are the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
If you were resident in Israel, the OPTs, or Lebanon before 7 October 2023 and are fleeing the violence since the 7 October, you and your family may be eligible to apply for benefits from the day you arrive in the UK. In order to do this, you will need to have a valid immigration status or alternatively British or Irish citizenship and meet the eligibility criteria.
While people who have newly arrived in the UK normally have to wait until they meet the residency tests to be eligible for benefits, changes have been made so that from 27 October those arriving from Israel, the OPTs and Lebanon in connection with the ongoing violence will meet the normal residency tests upon arrival. This means that if you are eligible, you will be able to apply for financial support faster.
You can find more about each benefit, including how you can apply and whether you may be eligible.
- Universal Credit – this could support you if you are on a low income, out of work or unable to work due to a health condition or disability.
- Housing Benefit – if you are aged over 66 and you live in rented accommodation, this can help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income or claiming benefits.
- Pension Credit – if you are aged over 66, which is State Pension age, this can give you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re on a low income.
- Disability and Carer Benefits, including:
- Personal Independence Payment – this helps with extra living costs if you have a long-term mental or physical health condition or disability that causes difficulty with everyday tasks or getting around.
- Child Disability Living Allowance – this may help with the extra costs of living with a child who is under 16 and needs extra care or has walking difficulties.
- Attendance Allowance – if you are aged over 66 and have a mental of physical disability this may help with the extra costs of your care.
- Carer’s Allowance – you may be able to claim this if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week.
To find out more about the full range of benefits you might be eligible for, visit:
PAYMENTS MADE UNDER THE GOVERNMENT’S VICTIMS OF OVERSEAS TERRORISM COMPENSATION SCHEME
From 27 October, any payments made under The Government’s Victims of Overseas Terrorism Compensation Scheme, including for victims of the terrorist attacks from 7 October, will not be counted when working out entitlement to benefits. This means that people will not be prevented from getting benefits or get less benefits because they have been paid compensation under this scheme.
INDIVIDUALS STILL IN ISRAEL, THE OPTs, AND LEBANON
Individuals who are currently still in Israel, the OPTs, or Lebanon and are unable to return to the UK should check guidance from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office:
If you are currently in receipt of a benefit and are unable to return to the UK, the Department for Work and Pensions will look to take a flexible and understanding approach and you should contact your Work Coach, the relevant disability benefit helpline, or the relevant Local Authority for housing benefit for further advice.