Interpreting, Signing and Communication Needs


No Recourse to Public Funds Network

1. Introduction

The term no recourse to public funds (NRPF) applies to people who are subject to immigration control. This includes non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who:

  • require permission to enter or remain in the UK but do not have it;
  • have permission to enter or remain in the UK which is subject to a condition that they do not have recourse to public funds; or
  • have permission to enter or remain in the UK given as a result of a maintenance undertaking (for example, they are adult dependent relatives of people with settled status).

The statement ‘no public funds’ will be written on the person’s immigration documentation, if they have immigration permission with NRPF.

They are not entitled to receive the following welfare benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance;
  • Carer’s Allowance;
  • Child Benefit;
  • Child Tax Credit;
  • Council Tax Reduction (formerly Council Tax Benefit);
  • Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment;
  • Housing Benefit;
  • Income Support;
  • Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance;
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Personal Independence Payment;
  • Severe Disablement Allowance/Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Social Fund Payment;
  • State Pension Credit;
  • Universal Credit;
  • Working Tax Credit.

They are also not entitled to allocated local authority housing, or help from the local authority in relation to being homeless.

People who are subject to immigration control may require an interpreter in their contact with adult social care (see Interpreting, Signing and Communication Needs).

There are additionally other groups of migrants who may request subsistence and /or accommodation from the local authority, because they are not entitled to welfare benefits and local authority housing, and therefore require NRPF services. These may include:

  • EEA nationals who are not subject to immigration control but may not be able to access certain welfare benefits and homelessness assistance if they fail the right to reside and / or habitual residence tests, which are applied when determining eligibility for these services;
  • Asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers with care needs.

Asylum seekers may be entitled to support from UK Visas and Immigration (see Section 4, Policy and Process).

1.1 Duty to inform the Home Office

The local authority is required to inform the Home Office of:

  • any person they suspect or know to be unlawfully present in the UK; and
  • a refused asylum seeker who has not complied with removal directions.

2. Legal Restrictions on Providing Assistance

2.1 Adults subject to immigration control who are destitute but have no additional needs

A local authority may not meet the needs for care and support of an adult or carer whose needs for care and support have arisen solely:

(a) because the adult is destitute;

(b) because of the physical effects, or anticipated physical effects, of being destitute.

A person is destitute if:

(a) s/he does not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not his/her other essential living needs are met); or

(b) s/he has adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet his/her other essential living needs).

2.2 Adults ineligible for support and assistance

The following five classes of person are ineligible for support and assistance (under the Care Act 2014):

  • persons granted refugee status by another EEA State and their dependants;
  • EEA nationals and their dependants (but not UK nationals or children);
  • failed asylum seekers who fail to comply with removal directions, and their dependents;
  • persons unlawfully present in the UK. This includes:
    • people who have overstayed their visas,
    • illegal entrants,
    • refused asylum seekers who made their application for asylum in-country i.e. at the Home Office rather than at the port of entry.
  • failed asylum seekers with dependent children who have been certified by the Secretary of State as having failed to take steps to leave the UK voluntarily.

Please note also that, whilst those falling within this category are not entitled to ‘support or assistance’ under the local authority’s duty to meet eligible needs or its duties towards carers under the Care Act 2014, there is no prohibition on a local authority undertaking its general duties with regard to providing information and advice or prevention.

2.2 Human Rights considerations

The legal restrictions as above are, however, subject to the obligation upon local authorities not to breach the human rights of adults.

In all situations, the local authority should provide support if this is necessary for the purpose of avoiding a breach of their human rights; that is, the local authority should go on to assess the person’s needs if there would be a breach of human rights if support is not provided.

In practice this means that local authorities must undertake a human rights assessment to consider whether, or to what extent, the circumstances are such that the bar on providing support or assistance should be lifted in order to avoid a breach of human rights.

3. Role of the Local Authority

3.1 Pre-assessment screening: all cases

In all cases, in establishing the facts of the case when an adult with NRPF requests assistance, the local authority should:

  • establish whether it is the responsible local authority, that is, whether the person is ordinarily resident within its area (see Ordinary Residence);
  • carry out an immigration check to establish any eligibility for public funds under immigration legislation. The adult must be asked to provide evidence of their nationality and, if relevant, evidence of their immigration status in the UK;
  • check whether there are any legal restrictions on providing assistance; and
  • establish whether it needs to meet urgent needs for care and support for the adult, including the provision of accommodation.

3.2 If there are legal restrictions on providing assistance

Have their needs arisen solely as a result of destitution and are they subject to immigration control? If so, a human rights assessment should be undertaken by the local authority to assess whether, or to what extent, the bar on providing support or assistance should be lifted in order to avoid a breach of human rights.

If not, an assessment of their needs should be undertaken in the interim. These include situations where there is a possibility or evidence that a migrant has additional mental or physical health, learning disability or social care needs, or any safeguarding concerns (see Safeguarding Adults from Abuse and Neglect).

3.3 Do they fall within the statutory bar to the provision of care and support?

If so, there is no restriction on the local authority providing information and advice or prevention. A human rights assessment should be undertaken to assess whether, or to what extent, the bar on providing support or assistance should be lifted in order to avoid a breach of human rights.

If not, an assessment of needs should be undertaken in the usual way.

4. Terminating Support

Where support is to be terminated, this decision should be made by an adult social care manager.

The adult should be informed of this decision by the social worker. This should be confirmed in writing and should include the 28 day notice period from when support will terminate. It should also advise the person to seek legal advice if they disagree with the decision. The letter should be translated into the person’s first language as appropriate.